Assistant GM John Ricco said on Monday in Nashville that the club has not ruled out bringing back RHP Tyler Clippard as he seeks to sign a setup type reliever.
“There’s a lengthy group,” Ricco said about relievers Mets are considering. “We are still kind of going through and meeting and trying to gather information on that list of right-handed relievers.”
The Mets acquired Clippard from the Oakland Athletics at the trade deadline for right-handed pitching prospect Casey Meisner.
Clippard, 31, went 3-0 with a 3.06 ERA and 1.052 WHIP in 32 relief appearances for the Mets last season with a 7.2 K/9. He was nearly light’s out his first month with the Mets, but things fell apart in September/October when he posted a 6.14 ERA and an opposing OPS of .858, causing him to lose the setup role to Addison Reed. He allowed 4 home runs in his final 14.2 innings pitched.
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Assistant GM John Ricco spoke to reporters during a media session at the Winter Meetings and pretty much confirmed all the reports that relievers Darren O’Day and Joakim Soria were not being considered by the Mets because they were deemed too expensive.
While the Mets do want to add a setup man to bridge the gap to closer Jeurys Familia, team officials confirmed that they were not looking to spend the kind of dollars it would take to sign any of the top tier options on the market.
On Sunday, Darren O’Day agreed to a four-year, $31 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles, and Ryan Madson signed a three-year, $22 million deal with the Oakland Athletics.
“We didn’t see ourselves playing in that top end where O’Day was,” Ricco said. “But I think that next tier, we’re going to be keeping an eye on. And if it looks like some of those guys are moving fast, then it would affect us.” (ESPN New York)
“We’re going to meet with a lot of the representatives for the relievers here over the next couple of days. If they start to go away, that could affect us.”
It’s presumed but not confirmed that perhaps the Mets are looking at left-handers Tony Sipp and Antonio Bastardo, which we’ve discussed quite frequently on MMO. And on Friday we suggested they take a look at former Marlins closer Steve Cishek, who was then linked to the Mets on Saturday by Newsday.
Ricco believes the Mets have the luxury of time.
“The conversations I’ve had with the agents for the guys who we’ve had interest in led me to believe they weren’t that close. They wanted to give themselves a chance to come here and talk with some of the teams. I’m not really that worried about that right now.”
Additionally, Ricco said they are hoping to re-sign lefty reliever Jerry Blevins, who pitched just 5.0 innings before having his season wiped out by a fractured arm and complications. He is expected to be fully healed by Spring Training and it’s believed he’s also open to a reunion.
One more note…
Veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon is still an option to return as a potential long reliever for the Mets bullpen. “I think the door is still open with him,’ Ricco said on Sunday. “And I think we’ll meet with his guys out here. I can see a fit there.”
Ricco added that the team has had conversations with Colon about a relief role with the Mets, and the “Big Sexy” was open to the idea. However, he first wants to see if he can land a starting pitching role first.
There you have it… A complete Winter Meetings wrap on the Mets and their quest to bolster their bullpen this offseason.
If it were my decision, I’d go with Tony Sipp and Jerry Blevins and call it Mission Accomplished.