Mets sign Tommy Pham, avoid arbitration in Tomás Nido and finishing the last piece of their off-season puzzle
New York agrees to contracts with Tommy Pham and Tomás Nido. Plus, how the club is one lefty away from a complete bullpen.
What’s Up with the Mets? 🍎
The Mets agreed to sign OF Tommy Pham to a one-year, $6 million contract (story)
The Mets and Tomás Nido agreed to a two-year, $3.7 million contract to avoid arbitration (FanSided)
The Mets are among teams interested in signing LHP Andrew Chafin (NY Post)
The Mets will induct five new members into their Hall of Fame on June 2nd:
25 days until pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie! ⚾️ 🌴
The Mets are one piece away from completing their bullpen ✍🏻
If you like relief pitchers, it’s been a great offseason for the Mets bullpen.
Despite having baseball’s top closer and one of the best set-up men in the game in 2022, the reliever corps was still viewed as a major area of need for this club entering the winter. And when it comes to rebuilding and solidifying the pen, they have certainly delivered.
New York kicked their offseason off with a bang, agreeing to a five-year, $102 million extension with closer Edwin Díaz – the largest contract for a relief pitcher in the history of baseball. Over the course of the next two months the Mets continued to add to their bullpen, bringing in the left-hander Brooks Raley (trade) and right-handers Stephen Ridings (waiver claim), Jeff Brigham (trade), David Robertson (one-year, $10 million), Adam Ottavino (two years, $14.5 million).
In addition to Drew Smith, who remains under team control through 2025, this assembly of relievers combined for a 2.36 ERA across 317 innings pitched last season. This is one hell of an upgrade for the Mets, who actually had a better bullpen than most would remember last season – finishing in the top 10 with a 3.55 ERA and 3.56 FIP as a unit.
New York also has quite a bit of depth, with pitchers like Elieser Hernandez, Tylor Megill, David Peterson, Joey Lucchesi, Zach Greene, Bryce Montes de Oca, Stephen Nogosek and William Woods in their organization, as well.
Still, though, it does feel as if this team is truly one piece away from having a completely loaded pen to support an already strong starting staff. Specifically, when it comes from the left side.
While Peterson performed admirably last season, he’s more valuable to this team as a swing-man, spot starter type who can give them more innings than your typical left-handed specialist. Plus, with only one Mets starting pitcher under the age of 30 and a rotation that’s average age is 34.8 years old, this team is going to need to have guys stretched out to fill in somewhere along the line.
This is what makes finding one more southpaw on the market to pair with Brooks Raley to face tough lefties late in games. The Mets are reportedly one of eight teams currently in talks with Andrew Chafin, who the club unsuccessfully pursued last offseason before he signed a deal with the Tigers. New York has also been linked to Zack Britton, who certainly knows manager Buck Showalter from their days together in Baltimore (insert AL Wild Card Game joke here).
These two should, and likely will, be the club’s only true impact options in free agency – unless, of course, the front office buys into Will Smith’s renaissance in Houston, where he pitched to a 3.27 ERA after being acquired at the trade deadline.
Chafin and Britton both offer the Mets the chance to tie a bow on their bullpen for the offseason, though one may be a more surefire bet than the other. Chafin pitched wonderfully in 2022, posting a 2.83 ERA over 57.1 innings pitched while holding left-handed hitters to a .233/.320/.344 slashline (though would you believe that he was even more effective vs right-handers?) Britton, on the other hand, has pitched in just 25 games over the last two seasons (only three last year) after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2021, and is three years older.
Even so, he could still be a better option than anyone other than Chafin at this point in free agency, as Britton did pitch to a 2.31 ERA over his three prior healthy seasons from 2018-20.
Of the two, Chafin does seem to be the clear number one choice here as he is the safer bet, though it is at least worth mentioning that he was the lone Tigers player to be placed on the restricted list when visiting the Blue Jays last season due to his vaccination status. The Mets, as you may recall, were one of the few teams who did not hit the 85 percent vaccine threshold during the 2021 season, so it is unclear if that would matter to them at this stage.
Strictly in terms on the on-field production, both pitchers would certainly provide a boost to this Mets bullpen that has already drastically improved – especially considering that either would be coming in as the team’s second left-handed option.
If New York can swing this one last move for a pitcher, they look as if they’re ready to boast one of the stronger bullpens in the sport. Who would’ve thought?
Hot Stove 🔥
The Rangers are showing interest in bringing back UTL Jurickson Profar (MLB Network)
The Royals and Marlins are among teams expressing interest in LHP Aroldis Chapman (MLB.com)
The Red Sox are keeping an eye on 2B Josh Harrison’s free agency (New York Post)
The Giants are likely finished making roster moves for the winter (NBC Sports)
Former Met OF Kevin Pillar is going to the Braves on a minor league deal (MLBTR)