While a lot of the attention over the next few days will be rightfully on Jose Reyes, this could be a very busy few days for the Mets bullpen. MLB Trade Rumors is reporting there has already been a lot of activity with teams trying to go bargain hunting. Extrapolating that statement, bargain hunting a lot of times ends up in the pen, and that is an area the Mets need at least two new pitchers, including a closer.
The following players are pitchers that the Mets have been linked to:
– Luis Ayala
– Octavio Dotel
– Andrew Bailey
– Jon Rauch
– Frank Francisco
– Brad Lidge
– Matt Capps
Let's break down that list:
Ayala and Dotel are both being pursued as 8th inning guys, and they both have garnered a lot of attention. Including the Mets, Ayala has 6 teams hunting him and Dotel has 4 teams. Both players would be nice additions to the Mets pen. Dotel is more reliable, and is stikeout machine. If I had to pick a pitcher, I would pick Dotel. If Ayala's name sounds familiar to you, well you follow the Mets. Luis was with the Nationals and then also spent some time with the Mets where he was not a good option to come into the game (5.50 ERA). Last year he had a strong campaign with the Yankees with a 2.20 ERA.
The next player on the list is the only one who is not a free agent. The Mets would love to trade for Bailey as a closer, as he would be a better option than any of the closers on the market. However, a trade is fairly unlikely. If the Mets were to spend on a closer, it would be on Frank Francisco. The remaining options would be bargain closers where the Mets would be getting better talent than what they currently have on their team, and would also open up some money for other areas of the team.
Hopefully the Mets make a move in the bullpen area this week at the Winter Meetings. This could be arguably the weakest area of this team.