Mets continue to effort bolstering bullpen depth, reportedly nterested in left-handed reliever who became a free agent in late October.
The New York Mets added relief pitcher Trevor May in early December to help strengthen their bullpen, and they may not be finished yet.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Mets have expressed interest in left-handed closer Brad Hand.
Mets have interest in star closer Brad Hand, who had a 2.05 ERA, 1.37 FIP and 0.77 WHIP and led the AL with 16 saves. Sandy Alderson mentioned back at the time that the new regime might have claimed Hand when he was on waivers had it been their call then.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 4, 2021
Hand, who is entering his age 31 season, is one of the best relievers and the best left-handed reliever on the market.
The Mets are currently completely deprived of lefties in the pen, so acquiring Hand would be the first move made to rectify the situation.
It’s a bit of a surprise that Hand is even a free agent but, in the age of COVID-19, nothing is impossible. Hand last played with the Cleveland Indians but was placed on waivers after they declined his club option.
In 396 innings, Hand has a career 3.65 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 105 saves, 9.23 K/9, 3.34 BB/9, 0.93 HR/9, 3.69 FIP, and 7.3 WAR. Hand is a three-time All-Star and even led the league in saves in 2020 with 16.
Not only is Hand very good at his job but he also won’t be an expensive addition. The Mets won’t have to worry about writing a big check while also bringing in one of the best relievers in the league.
Closer Edwin Diaz was able to leave his woes behind him by finishing up the 2020 season on a very positive note but Hand, who’s one of the best closers in the game, could take over for him in that spot if Diaz does struggle again.
If not, Hand will likely be used as a late innings reliever, likely as Diaz’s setup man.
It’s worth noting, as Heyman mentions, that Mets general manager Sandy Alderson had said Steve Cohen’s regime would’ve likely claimed Hand off waivers had they been in control, at the time.
If the Mets do, in fact, bring in Hand, their bullpen will become one of the best, and most dangerous, in MLB.