In all likelihood, Addison Reed is in his last week as a New York Met. He’s been one of Sandy Alderson’s best moves, and he will be even better if the Mets can deal him for something of value. But as Reed departs, it leaves a vacancy in the closer’s spot. Here’s a breakdown of the least likely to the most likely candidates for the job from the current bullpen group:
7) Josh Edgin
As a lefty with a low strikeout rate, this seems to be the long shot of long shots. He’ll most likely continue to work in middle relief.
6) Erik Goeddel
He’s struggled lately and has received very little trust from the organization over the last three years even with a very good 2015 season. He’s got a good K/9 (9.58), but this just isn’t happening.
5) Josh Smoker
He’s got a good K rate (10.45) and fastball, but he’s been an absolute mess all season. Of all the lefties in the bullpen, he might have the best closer makeup, but it still would be a shock to see him handed the ninth inning job.
On numbers and big league experience, Blevins is probably the best candidate for the job. However, the idea of using a lefty as a closer is “unconventional” as far as baseball standards go, and it seems like something Terry Collins would never do given his “by the book” mentality. It might be for the best, as Blevins probably has more value in the seventh or eighth inning.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this might be the direction this is headed. Despite an awful 6.30 ERA, Collins has shown unusual trust in Salas and continues to use him in close games. Furthermore, Salas is the only guy left in the bullpen with any sort of prolonged closer experience. The Mets will probably also like the idea of showcasing him in a key role to see if they can get any sort of bite on a trade before the end of August.
2) Paul Sewald
This is the guy who probably deserves the gig more than anyone else. He’s better than his numbers indicate (4.17 ERA but 2.83 FIP) and has a 10.98 K/9. He doesn’t throw remarkably hard (about 91 MPH fastball), but he gets the job done. Giving him the ninth inning would be a good test to see how much responsibility he can have in the bullpen for years to come.
Since returning from minor league exile, Robles has actually been pretty good, as he’s allowed just one run in 5.2 IP. He’s also immediately been flung back into crucial spots and has passed the test (minus HR vs Cardinals). He’s got some zip on the fastball (95.3 MPH), has been in a late inning role before, and is a favorite of Collins. This is a distinct possibility.