On Thursday morning, when most of us on the east coast were sleeping, the Mets agreed to bring back Jeurys Familia on a 3 year 30 million dollar contract.
After being traded from the Mets to the Athletics at the trade deadline last year, he is now back and will be the setup man for newly acquired closer Edwin Diaz. The question now is, where does the Mets bullpen stand after this signing?
First off, this signing gives the Mets one of the best 8-9 inning combos in the National League. In 2018, Familia posted a 3.13 ERA, 2.65 FIP, and 10.38 K/9 in 72 innings with the Mets and Athletics and Edwin Diaz posted a 1.96 ERA, 1.61 FIP, and 15.22 K/9 in 73.1 innings with the Mariners. Let’s not forget about Seth Lugo who had a 2.30 ERA as a reliever last year as well. With these three the Mets now have a strong back end of the bullpen that should shorten the game. As I type that Jacob deGrom breathes a big sigh of relief.
After those three, Robert Gsellman (4.28 ERA/3.95 FIP) and Daniel Zamora (3.00 ERA/2.38 FIP) will probably hold two more spots. Zamora was great for the Mets late last year as a guy that can get both left-handed and right-handed hitters out and Robert Gsellman’s stuff plays in the pen. In Gsellman’s first year as a full-time reliever, he saw an uptick in his velocity from 2017 to 2018 (sinker went up from 93.2 mph in 2017 to 94.5 mph in 2018).
After those five the Mets still need two spots in their bullpen. Brodie Van Wagenen said yesterday the Mets are interested in a left-handed reliever but are probably out on Andrew Miller and Zack Britton. Some left-handed options available are: Tony Sipp (1.86 ERA/2.41 FIP, LHH hit .188/263/294 against him), Xavier Cedeno (2.43 ERA/2.95 FIP, LHH hit .207/.281.293 against him), Oliver Perez (yes I know) (1.39 ERA/1.74 FIP, LHH hit .191/.215/.274 against him). The Mets could also consider a reunion with Jerry Blevins who was good for them from 2016-2017 but is coming off of a down year.
The last spot in the Mets bullpen (or two, if they decide to go with an eight-man pen) will probably be a competition in spring training between Tyler Bashlor, Drew Smith, Eric Hanhold, and Bobby Wahl who are all high upside arms that got cups of coffee at the major league level last year.
Overall, I think the Mets bullpen is pretty solid as it stands right now. I would expect them to add another left-handed reliever to pair with Daniel Zamora. I think the backend of Diaz-Familia is really strong, Lugo and Gsellman pitching in multiple inning roles and if the Mets could get a breakout from one of the four young relievers that will be battling for a spot in spring this pen could become a monster.