Kodai Senga is officially a Met, their play for Carlos Correa, and a look at four free agent left-handed relievers
The Mets could use a cross-over reliever for the left side of their bullpen
What’s Up with the Mets? 🍎
Mets owner and CEO Steve Cohen made a late attempt to sign Carlos Correa this past week with an offer close to $300 million, but agent Scott Boras said they had gone too far down the road with what turned out to be the Giants (New York Post)
The Mets officially announced they signed Kodai Senga to a five-year contract - he will be introduced tomorrow at Citi Field (official release)
The Astros have Michael Conforto among the left-handed hitting options they’re considering (New York Post)
That’s what he said! 🎙️
“I made a commitment to the fans. If it means I have to spend money to fulfill that commitment, so be it.”
Left-handed relievers that could be a fit for the Mets bullpen ✍🏻
During the winter meetings in San Diego, the Mets acquired Brooks Raley in a trade with the Rays for prospect Keyshawn Askew.
Assuming the Mets are not considering David Peterson as a left-handed relief option, the Mets could look to acquire an additional lefty for the bullpen as they continue to try and solidify their relief corps.
Here is a look at several left-handed options the Mets could consider on the relief market:
The Mets were reportedly interested in signing Chafin after the lockout before he signed with the Tigers. He posted a 2.83 ERA in 64 games with Detroit, allowing 48 hits and 19 walks with 67 strikeouts in 57.1 IP. He did post reverse splits in 2022 as left-handed hitters posted a .665 OPS against a .586 OPS from right-handed hitters. He was in the 89th percentile in chase rate, 87 percentile in swing-and-miss rate, and the 86th percentile in expected batting average and expected slugging percentage. His slider had a -4 run value, above average although that was down from -8 in 2021. Chafin has a 3.23 ERA in nine years with the Diamondbacks, Cubs, A’s and Tigers and could prove to be a quality cross-over option from the left side of the bullpen.
Britton - who will turn 35 on December 22 - and Mets manager Buck Showalter can be linked back to their days in Baltimore. Britton has spent the last 4 1/2 seasons with the Yankees as he was one of the big free agent prizes in the market after the 2018 season. He underwent Tommy John Surgery at the end of the 2021 season which cost him all but three games in 2022, as he returned at the end of September. All-told, Britton has made just 42 relief appearances over the last two seasons due to his elbow troubles and the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Prior to the injury, Britton had one of the best sliders in the game along with an elite sinker, but he would of course arrive with question marks due to both durability, age and limited duty in recent seasons.
After a discouraging stint with the Blue Jays in 2021, Hand briefly joined the Mets in September of that season and had an encouraging conclusion to his season, posting a 2.70 ERA in 16 appearances before becoming a free agent. Hand then signed with the Phillies and put the question marks behind him as he threw to a 2.80 ERA in 55 appearances in 2022, striking out 38 batters in 45 innings. He held left-handed hitters to a .217/.319/.367 line which compared to a .226/.344/.293 line against right-handed hitters. Hand’s days as an elite closer are behind him, but like Chafin, Hand could be a quality cross-over option from the left side of the bullpen. Hand has a lifetime 3.62 ERA in his 12-year career with Miami, Cleveland, Washington, Toronto, New York, and Philadelphia.
A full-time reliever for the first time in his career, Moore, 33, flourished in that role with the Rangers in 2022. He struck out 83 batters in 74 innings. While he did walk 38 batters in those 74 innings, he only allowed three home runs the entire season and none against left-handed hitters. He did post reverse splits in 2022 (.634 OPS against left-handed hitters versus a .537 OPS against right-hand hitters) but held opponents to a .185 opposing batting average thanks to his quality fastball/change-up combination which produced a -7 and -4 run value, respectively. He ditched his cutter in 2022 and turned into a three-pitch pitcher with a quality curveball sandwiched in-between his fastball and change. All of that resulted in Moore being in the top ten percentiles in hard-hit rate, expected batting average, expected slugging percentage, and barrel percentage.
Other possibilities could include Will Smith and Taylor Rogers.
Hot Stove 🔥
The Cubs are finalizing a seven-year, $177 million contract with Dansby Swanson (NBC Sports Chicago)
The Dodgers have agreed to sign JD Martínez to a one-year, $10 million deal (FanSided)
Austin Hedges and the Pirates agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract (New York Post)
Speedster Billy Hamilton is heading to the White Sox on a minor league contract (MLB.com)
The Dodgers haven’t ruled out bringing Justin Turner back for 2023 (New York Post)
The Astros could look to sign Jurickson Profar (New York Post)