The Mets have been one of the most active teams on the market this winter. One of the focal points general manager Brodie Van Wagenen set out to improve on was the team’s bullpen.
He bolstered the back-end by bringing back longtime Met Jeurys Familia, trading for elite closer Edwin Diaz and inking southpaw Justin Wilson to a two-year deal. Those three combined with Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo give New York a formidable bullpen.
However, there are still going to a be a couple spots available to be fought for. For a couple guys, the auditions started last season. I’m talking about Drew Smith and Tyler Bashlor, who the team is going to be taking a very close look at.
“They’re very much on our radar,” manager Mickey Callaway said, according to Tim Healey of Newsday. “Those guys got to go out there and against major-league hitters; we put them in some tough spots. They got to have some experience. They came into camp ready to go. They know they have to battle with all these other guys to make the team.
“The things that [pitching coach Dave Eiland] asked them to work on in the offseason, it is very evident that they all took that to heart and came in in a better spot than they ended [last] season. Preparing them to make a team and compete to make a team. They are definitely on the radar.”
Smith, 25, was acquired by the Mets from Tampa Bay in 2017 for first baseman Lucas Duda. Upon debuting last season, he registered a 3.54 ERA, 3.66 FIP, a 105 ERA+ and 1.429 WHIP in 27 appearances.
Bashlor, 25, pitched to a 4.22 ERA and 5.44 FIP in 24 games down the stretch in 2018. While those numbers aren’t gleaming, Bashlor’s repertoire is one to be reckoned with and is someone who, when used properly, could be a real impact player out of New York’s bullpen.
In addition to Smith and Bashlor, southpaws Luis Avilan, Hector Santiago and Daniel Zamora as well as righties Arquimedes Caminero and Kyle Dowdy will also be battling it out to break camp with the team.