RHP Jonathan Papelbon
2016 Season stats – 35.0 IP, 19 SV, 4.37 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 3.69 FIP, 14 BB/31 KJonathan Papelbon is on the outs of the Washington Nationals‘ bullpen due to a sharp decline in 2016. But it can’t be forgotten that over the prior two seasons, the former six-time All-Star closer compiled 63 saves, paired with a 2.08 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP.
Although the velocity difference that allowed his splitter/fastball combination to be so devastating hasn’t been what it used to be for some time, Papelbon was able to keep pace with his success due to the fact that he can hit his spots consistently.
That translated into early success in 2016, but things quickly fell off after that, as the Nationals traded for Mark Melancon and didn’t sign back Papelbon. But if the Mets took a cheap flyer on a one-year deal for him, he might be worth the risk.
Alderson made a very similar move last offseason with former closer Jim Henderson, even though he was never the caliber of reliever that Papelbon was.
Although that was ultimately a failed signing by Alderson, it shouldn’t scare him from giving a 12-year veteran such as Papelbon a chance to make another mark in Queens.