Mets fill a big bullpen need - acquire LHP Brooks Raley from the Rays
Raley held left-handed hitters to a .482 OPS in 2022. Plus, a Kodai Senga update, trade buzz around Darin Ruf and where Trevor Williams could fit on the staff
What’s Up with the Mets? 🍎
The Mets procured some bullpen help on Wednesday - they acquired LHP Brooks Raley from the Rays for 22-year-old pitching prospect Keyshawn Askew
The Mets remain, “open-minded” about re-signing Brandon Nimmo and have expressed a willingness to go past where they wanted to in the marketplace (SNY)
The Mets have told Trevor Williams he has a chance to start if he signs back with the club - he is still deciding which role he wants to pursue in free agency (New York Post)
The Mets are exploring the possibility of trading Darin Ruf (New York Post)
Pat Hughes - the longtime Chicago Cubs broadcaster - won the 2023 Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame. Mets TV broadcaster Gary Cohen was a finalist for the award
Billy Eppler checked a big box for the bullpen with Brooks Raley… ✍🏻
Finally, the Mets are getting a quality left-handed reliever!
The Mets agreed to trade pitching prospect Keyshawn Askew to the Rays for LHP Brooks Raley, the Mets announced in a statement.
Raley, 34, produced a 2.68 ERA in 60 appearances for Tampa Bay in 2022, holding left-handed hitters to a .155 batting average and .483 OPS against, and over the course of his five-year career, Raley has held left-handed hitters to a .171 batting average and .491 OPS against.
Raley features elite movement on both his sinker and his change-up which helped him produce a -4 and -3 run value on those pitches respectively. He was in the top ten percentiles in hard hit rate, chase rate, expected slugging percentage, and barrel percentage and in the top 15 percentile in expected ERA.
Raley is one of several pieces the Mets need to add as they rebuild their bullpen around Edwin Díaz, who signed a five-year, $102 million contract at the beginning of the off-season. But with Raley, Eppler addressed an area of weakness in the Mets bullpen last year, as both Chasen Shreve and Joely Rodriguez struggled over the course of the year, especially failing to provide a stable presence against left-handed hitters from start to finish in 2022.
In Askew, the Mets surrendered a 22-year-old prospect who produced a 2.44 ERA over 19 appearances and eight starts between Single-A Brooklyn and St. Lucie in 2022. He struck out 92 batters while allowing 28 walks in 66.1 IP between both levels. He was the Mets’ 10th round selection in the 2021 June amateur draft.
Raley will earn $5 million in 2023 as part of a two-year, $10 million contract he signed with Tampa Bay before the 2022 season. The Mets hold a $6.5 million team option on Raley with a $1.25 million buyout.
Stories to read 🔗
Just Mets Chat on Substack 💬
Recently, we started to dip our toes into the Substack chat feature. We posted a couple of breaking news posts during the winter meetings and it garnered a couple of good conversations about the Mets and the signings they’ve made to-date.
So, if you’d like to participate in future chats, 1) that’s awesome, 2) you’ll need to download the Substack app on your mobile device, and make sure you login and turn your push alerts are on so you can see when one of us posts something for a conversation.
Maybe it will be breaking news, maybe it will be a small game thread, a Q&A etc.
Buzz from the Winter Meetings 🔥
The Cardinals have agreed to sign Willson Contreras to a five-year, $87.5 million deal (Athletic)
The A’s signed Aledmys Díaz to a two-year, $14.5 million deal (New York Post)
The Red Sox signed closer Kenley Jansen to a two-year, $32 million contract (Boston Globe)
The Red Sox are in, “heavy discussions” with the agents for Xander Bogaerts (New York Post)
With Aaron Judge remaining in New York, the Giants are expected to pivot towards the top of the shortstop market (Athletic)
The Pirates have expressed interest in C Tucker Barnhart (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)