The Mets have now missed out on a pair of sizable bullpen arms that they had been linked to during the offseason.
After seeing Brad Hand go to the Washington Nationals, where he turned down more New York money for a chance to close in D.C., the Mets are on the verge of losing out on their reliable lefty for the last two years, Justin Wilson — who is nearing a deal with the Yankees.
Spring training is practically here with pitchers and catchers officially reporting for duty on Wednesday; leaving the Mets with a number of questions left to answer within the six weeks before Opening Day.
Amongst the largest unknowns is the depth of the bullpen, which took a noticeable hit over the weekend when the team announced Seth Lugo will be undergoing surgery to remove a loose body in his right elbow on Tuesday.
He won’t begin a throwing program for at least six weeks, which will then be coupled with an abbreviated spring training to make sure he is healthy and able to take on the grind of a full season. That means the Mets might not have one of their top bullpen arms until May or even June.
This came just days after the Mets officially made the Albert Almora Jr. deal official, prompting the team to designate veteran reliever Brad Brach for assignment to make space on the roster.
While Wilson looks to be off the board, options still remain to round out the Mets’ bullpen — the general consensus is that the club is not done making moves yet this offseason.
Trevor Rosenthal is the top remaining reliever target on the free-agent market this winter.
The 30-year-old right-hander rebounded well from a 2019 season that saw him struggle mightily upon his return from a torn UCL. Rosenthal went 1-0 with a 1.90 ERA and 11 saves in 23 appearances with the Kansas City Royals and San Diego Padres in 2020.
Shane Greene is also an intriguing option that remains on the market. The 32-year-old was an All-Star in 2019 and over the past two seasons, had a 2.39 ERA and 1.041 WHIP with the Detroit Tigers and Atlanta Braves. With a career 4.38 ERA over his seven-year MLB career, Greene has had a sub-3.00 ERA in three of the last four years.
A familiar face that will undoubtedly fracture the fan base is the 39-year-old southpaw, Oliver Perez, who is also looking for a new home.
He spent 2006-2010 with the Mets, accruing a 4.71 ERA, and has bounced around plenty since then, playing for a total of seven other MLB clubs.
However, he was effective with the Cleveland Indians in recent years, posting a 2.67 ERA and 1.022 WHIP over the last three seasons (139 appearances).