In separate reports, the New York Mets have been linked to a couple of right-handed relievers who could be added to serve as a late inning set-up man to Jeurys Familia.
Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports says the Mets remain interested in free agent reliever Bryan Shaw. This is confirms a long standing rumor that has persisted in part due to Shaw’s relationship with new Mets manager Mickey Callaway.
Shaw is coming off a second consecutive season where he has led the American League in appearances. In his 79 games, Shaw had a 3.52 ERA, 1.213 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9 and 8.6 K/9. It was noted the reliever had an uptick in fastball velocity, which could be attributed to his posting a career best 2.96 FIP.
After an All Star 2016 season, Colome had a solid year as the Rays closer, leading the league in saves. In 65 appearances, the 28-year-old had a 3.24 ERA, 1.200 WHIP, 3.1 BB/9 and a 7.8 K/9.
It is not known what the Rays are specifically targeting in trade discussions or what the Mets are prepared to offer them. On the front, it should be noted rumors have been swirling that the Mets have been dangling Matt Harvey in trade discussions in an attempt to acquire a relief pitcher. Whomever the Mets look to deal, they will certainly have competition with the Cardinals and Cubs aggressively pursing the closer.
The Mets interest in both relievers should not be a surprise to anyone.
“There are a lot of guys out there, and a lot of teams looking for relief pitching. We think there’s some values out there,” said Mets general manager Sandy Alderson Sunday. “And to the extent that the market gets overheated, I wouldn’t think that we’ll jump into the inferno. But we do want to improve our bullpen.”
Whether Shaw or Colome present themselves as the value pitchers the Mets are targeting this offseason remains to be seen.
The hope that Shaw or Colome are the guy may be a bit misguided. Indeed, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports the Mets are unlikely to get Shaw or even old friend Addison Reed. Rather, Sherman believes the Mets will likely leave the Winter Meetings with a reliever like Tommy Hunter, Steve Cishek, or Anthony Swarzak.
Regardless of who the Mets acquire, the team does not want to go past two years in any free agent deal. In an attempt to entice the free agent relievers to accept such a short term deal, the Mets may look to emulate the Cubs signing of Brandon Morrow by giving the player a higher average annual value.
Overall, while the reliver rumors are ramping up, it does not appear the Mets ability or willingness to spend for the big target relievers are increasing. Despite that, all reports seem to indicate the Mets will leave the Winter Meetings with at least one new reliever.