Here we take a look at the top-10 remaining free agent relievers. The Mets certainly have a need in the bullpen with the possible suspension of Jeurys Familia, so these free agents are options for Sandy Alderson to consider if he doesn’t want to address the need via trade.
Jerry Blevins – Blevins was as steady as they come in 2016, pitching to a 2.79 ERA over 73 appearances. The southpaw accumulated 42 innings while pitching to a WHIP of 1.21. He had success against both right-handed and left-handed hitters, while at times just being used against lefties. The 33 year-old is searching for a three year deal this offseason.
Greg Holland – In 2013 and 2014, Holland was one of the most dominant closers in the game, saving 93 games and pitching to a 1.32 ERA. In 129.1 innings he struck out 193 batters and pitched to an 0.889 WHIP. When his average fastball velocity took a downward turn in 2015, from over 96 MPH to 93.6 MPH, it was discovered that he had actually torn his ulnar collateral ligament late in the 2014 season, and it surely affected his performance. It will be 17 months since his surgery when 2017 spring training arrives, he could be an option for the Mets.
Sergio Romo – Since 2008, Romo has been one of the most consistent relievers in the game for the San Fransisco Giants. He sports a career 2.58 ERA and 2.71 FIP to go with a 0.8 HR/9, 1.8 BB/9, and 10.2 K/9. He has plenty of closing experience, having saved 84 games in his career, so he could be pursued by teams needing a closer, driving up his price tag.
Santiago Casilla – At first glance, Casilla’s 69 saves over the last two seasons make him an appealing target. However, the 36 year-old has telling peripherals, mainly a career 3.89 FIP, much higher than his 3.19 ERA. While there are better targets out there, there are also worse options. He could be a decent addition to the Mets’ bullpen in the 7th inning.
Neftali Feliz – The 2010 Rookie of the year averaged 96 MPH on his fastball in 2016, reaching as high as 99.9 mph. These are far better numbers than anything he has put up since 2011, as his fastball velocities from 2012-2015 were 94.6, 93.7, 93.6, and 94.6 MPH. Now at 28 years-old, he is a solid option for the Mets bullpen after posting a 3.52 ERA in 53.2 innings with 61 strikeouts for the Pirates in 2016. He seems to be on the up-and-up, so now could be a great time to bring him aboard.
Fernando Salas – The 31 year-old had a Reed-like impact on the Mets after he was acquired from the Angels on August 31. In 17 appearances, he was 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA, a 0.635 WHIP, and a 9.9 K/9. Salas completely took over the seventh inning role, and he allowed both Reed and Familia some rest down the stretch. He could continue to be an effective weapon for the Mets going forward if they were to bring him back.
Joe Blanton – Since moving to the bullpen full-time in 2015, Blanton has been very effective. In 2016, he went 7-2 with a 2.48 ERA (3.33 FIP) with a 1.013 WHIP. The journeyman has finally found a home in the bullpen and should certainly be an option for the Mets.
Joe Smith – Since 2009, Smith has been one of the most reliable relievers in the game, appearing in 503 games (7th among Major League relievers), with a 2.80 ERA, 146 holds (5th), 1.151 WHIP, and 203 runners stranded (6th). Smith’s best overall season came in 2014 as a member of the Angels, where he posted a career best 1.81 ERA, tied his career high in wins with seven, pitched a career high 74.2 innings, had a career high 68 strikeouts, and posted his best WHIP at 0.804 (6th in the majors).
Travis Wood – Once a full time starter, Travis Wood was an important cog in the Cubs’ bullpen during their World Series run. He was extremely effective against lefties in 2016, holding them to a .128/.208/.239 slash line. Overall, he went 4-0 with a 2.95 ERA. He has also been used as a pinch hitter, as he has nine career home runs.
Drew Storen – The 29 year-old had a down year in 2016, going 4-3 with a 5.23 ERA (4.21 FIP) and a 1.335 WHIP. However, from 2010 to 2015 he was an integral part of the Nationals bullpen, serving as their closer at times. He would be a nice addition to the Mets bullpen in front of Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia.