Date of Birth: August 26th, 1986 (32)
Traditional Stats: 2-0, 2.43 ERA, 1 SV, 48 games, 34 K, 33.1 IP, 1.26 WHIP, 9.2 K/9, 4.3 BB/9
Advanced Stats: 0.9 WAR, 175 ERA+, 2.95 FIP
As the Mets continue to seek bullpen help, one of the more underrated free agent candidates left on the market is left-handed relief pitcher, Xavier Cedeño. After trading for Edwin Diaz, and bringing back Jeurys Familia on a three-year, 30-million-dollar deal, the team is still in need of a serviceable lefty reliever, which would be a luxury they did not have last season given lefty specialist, Jerry Blevins’s inability to get left-handed hitters out.
Cedeño signed a minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox last year and began the season in Triple A. Despite not being called up to the big leagues until early June, the 32-year-old reliever is coming off a solid season, where he posted a 2.43 ERA, with one save, 34 strikeouts, and a 1.26 WHIP in 33.1 innings.
On August 31st, The Milwaukee Brewers acquired Cedeño for two minor leaguers to help boost their bullpen during the pennant race. In 15 games with the Brewers, he posted a 1.13 ERA, with six strikeouts, and a 2.79 WHIP in 8 innings.
As General Manager, Brodie Van Wagenen previously stated after the Familia deal, they are unlikely to go after an additional “big money” relief pitcher. Cedeño would be a solid, in-expensive signing to complement the back end of the bullpen and provide a valuable option late in games against lefty hitters.
Cedeño will most likely be asking for a multi-year deal given his age (32), and between 2-4 million per season. If Brodie and the Mets would be willing to sign him, something along the lines of 2-3 years 5-8 million total seems fair and would make the most sense.
Coming off a productive season, where he did not receive a major league contract, Cedeño’s asking price will not be through the roof and would be a solid addition considering the only other current option they have in the bullpen is the young and unproven left-hander, Daniel Zamora.
Zamora was solid in limited action last season, but it would be unfair for the Mets to heavily rely on him as their only lefty relief pitcher going into a 2019 season, where they claim to be “going for it.” Bringing in Cedeño makes sense, and would most likely be a good fit in Queens.