It has been widely reported the Mets have had interest in Orioles reliever Brad Brach in exchange for one of their outfielders. Apparently, there has been a snag in negotiations with the Orioles because the team wants the Mets to not only trade them either Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson, but the Orioles also want the Mets to pay part of their salary or even include a prospect in return. Looks like the O’s have reengaged Mark Trumbo now according to Buster Olney.
If the Mets are indeed out on Brach, that means the team will have to look elsewhere for a late inning reliever. Further complicating matters for the Mets is Sandy Alderson’s earlier comments that the team is not willing to give out multi-year deals to relievers. With those parameters in mind, here are three relievers the Mets may be able to sign this offseason:
2016 Stats: 3-7, 3.91 ERA, 75 G, 6 SV, 1.113 WHIP
The Mets may be able to sign the 31 year old Salas to a one year deal because he is coming off a two year stretch that has seen him pitch to a 4.06 ERA. Despite those numbers, Salas thrived with the Mets pitch framing going 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA, a 0.635 WHIP, and a 9.9 K/9 in 17 appearances. While replicating those numbers may be difficult, Salas has at least proved he can pitch well in New York with a postseason appearance on the line. Between that and his closing experience, the Mets should be interested in a reunion.
2016 Stats: 4-7, 2.25 ERA, 69 G, 22 SV, 1.368 WHIP
Due to his struggles against left-handed batters and his age, the 37-year old Ziegler is not likely to get more than a one year deal. Still the Mets, and almost all of the teams that made the postseason last year are interested in the side-winding Ziegler because keeps the ball in the ballpark by generating a lot of ground balls. With Ziegler’s ability to pitch from the seventh inning on, he is a valuable asset, and one in which the Mets should have interest.
2016 Stats: 2-5, 3.46 ERA, 54 G, 6 SV, 1.250 WHIP
Since joining the Angels in 2014, Smith has gone from a dominating bullpen arm to a player left off the Cubs postseason roster. However, it should be noted with the Cubs excellent pitch framers, Smith finished the season strong pitching to a 2.51 ERA and a 1.116 WHIP in his last 16 appearances. Seeing how Salas similarly benefited from the Mets strong pitch framers, it is likely Smith could replicate his strong numbers in Chicago with the Mets. Like Salas and Ziegler, Smith also has closing experience meaning he can be relied upon in any number of roles.
Overall, even if the Mets are not able to obtain Brach or a similar pitcher in a trade for Bruce or Granderson, there are still plenty of pitchers available on the free agent market who can pitch well in the seventh, eighth, or even the ninth inning for the Mets.