While the New York Mets’ acquisition of 24-year old closer Edwin Diaz has yet to be officially confirmed, Mike Puma of the New York Post is reporting that the team will still scrutinize the free agent market for a “high-end eighth inning guy” as well as a “veteran multiple-innings type reliever.”
In the former department cites Andrew Miller and David Robertson as two candidates that the Mets could look to couple with Diaz, while right-hander Adam Warren has also been mentioned by sources as a possible fit for the latter.
Last year, the Seattle Mariners were undefeated over the 61 games in which they handed Diaz the ball in a save opportunity, and with his 14.3 K/9 and 1.69 FIP in high-leverage spots the fourth-highest figures in baseball since he assumed a full-time closing role in 2017, it would be foolish for the Mets to put him in unfamiliar territory.
While the 33-year old Miller struggled through injury in a subpar 2018 (4.24 ERA, 4.2 BB/9, and 0.2 bWAR/0.4 fWAR in 34 innings), his 1.12 xFIP, .138 opponent average, and 13.3 K/BB ratio and from the seventh inning-on across the prior four years are just a few of the many statistics that ranked at the top of the class.
Miller’s experience with the Cleveland Indians alongside Mickey Callaway in 2016 and 2017 and his .556 lefty OPS in 2018 render a return to form in 2019 very possible, and could lead general manager Brodie Van Wagenen to look past the down year altogether.
Robertson, also 33, has spent the majority of his 11-year career with the New York Yankees, and the entirety in the American League, but has been one of the game’s most consistent relievers in that time. He has finished with 10.4 or more K/9 every season while successfully converting both saves and holds, amassing 135 and 126, respectively, since 2011.
Though foreign to the high-90s fastball through most of his career, Robertson’s breaking pitches have baffled hitters over the last five years, as his 48.5 runs above average with the knuckle curve is the highest of any curveball in baseball since 2014. A slider that he recently added to his arsenal checked in at 7.5 runs above average last year.
Warren tends to fly under the radar, but is one of the more effective innings eaters the market currently has to offer. In 47 appearances and 51.2 innings between the Yankees and Mariners, Warren combined for a 3.14 ERA with 9.1 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9. The prior season, Warren ran a formidable long-relief corps alongside Chad Green, posting a 2.35 ERA in 46 games (57.1 innings) with a 43.7% groundball rate. A rough second half ultimately put a damper on Warren’s numbers, but his slider profiles well.