Mets reliever Brooks Raley to get Tommy John surgery, out for the season

Brooks Raley Mets
Brooks Raley
Lloyd Mitchell/AMNY

The downtrodden New York Mets received more bad news in the middle of Tuesday’s 7-6 loss to the Cleveland Guardians — lefty reliever Brooks Raley is out for the remainder of the season, and will be undergoing Tommy John surgery next week.

It is possible that Raley, 35, has pitched his last game as a Met, as he is set to be a free agent after the 2024 season. But he will likely spend the first half of next season rehabbing from the surgery.

As a result, his price will be much less than if he were healthy. He could also remain on the free agent market even after the 2025 season starts.

Whether or not the Mets will look to buy low on Raley to keep him in Queens remains to be seen. The lefty reliever had been a reliable arm in the Mets bullpen since being acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays for lefty reliever prospect Keyshawn Askew in the 2023 offseason, posting a 2.74 E.R.A. across 126 appearances as a Met, including seven shutout innings across eight appearances in 2024.

After his strong start to the 2024 season, Raley was placed on the 15-day injured list on April 21 with elbow inflammation. At the time, the team said they expected him to be back as soon as he was eligible.

But later testing ended up showing ligament damage. After being diagnosed with a UCL strain on May 14, Raley was considering attempting to avoid surgery by resting and rehabbing, as he was told the strain was healing. However, Raley ultimately opted for the surgery.

With Raley now done for the year, the Mets bullpen is down to one lefty, Jake Diekman, who has had a frustrating year. The 37-year-old veteran reliever has struggled with command issues, issuing 13 walks in 15.2 innings so far this season. The Mets hope that he can cut down on the number of free passes and become the reliable lefty they need in the bullpen.

In addition to Diekman, other internal lefty relief options the Mets have include Josh Walker, Danny Young and Tyler Jay. Each have seen some brief action with the team this year, spending most of the season in Triple-A Syracuse.

One of the more fitting replacements would have been top lefty reliever prospect Nate Lavender, who pitched his way onto the team’s radar after a dominant spring training. However, he recently underwent an internal brace procedure — a variation on Tommy John surgery — that ended his 2024 season.

Another potential option could be David Peterson, who is working his way back from a hip injury and is on track to rejoin the team in June. While he has spent most of his MLB career as a starter, Peterson has also been used out of the bullpen.

In 16 career relief appearances in the majors, Peterson has a 2.70 ERA across 26.2 innings.