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Mets Non-Tendered Targets: Ronald Belisario

The Mets now have just 35 players on their 40-man roster, which means there’s plenty of room for acquiring new players. Enter the non-tendered free-agent crop.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers non-tendered right-handed relief pitcher Ronald Belisario after his fourth season with the team. His numbers in 2013 weren’t great, but they weren’t abominable, either. With a 3.97 ERA and 3.64 FIP, Belisario wasn’t far from the 3.59 ERA and 3.70 FIP on the average major league relief pitcher.

Although he throws his average fastball in the mid-90s, Belisario’s 16.3 percent strikeout rate wasn’t nearly as good as the league average this year and has never been outstanding. His 9.3 percent walk rate was below average, too. He’s had slightly more success with strikeouts over the course of his career, but his walk rate has always been a little on the high side.

All of that said, Belisario has still put together a pretty good career thanks to an apparent ability to limit home runs. At 0.54 home runs allowed per nine innings pitched in his career, Belisario rates very well. His 61 percent groundball rate was the third-highest among relievers with at least 200 innings pitched between 2009 and 2013.

Belisario is not without his warts, though, as the Los Angeles Times recently noted:

Belisario’s personal problems date back to at least his breakout season with the Dodgers in 2009, when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. (He later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.) Belisario missed a month of the following season to receive treatment in a substance-abuse program. He couldn’t enter the United States in 2011, as a failed cocaine test prevented him from obtaining a work visa.

As a baseball player, Belisario could make the 2014 Mets a better team. Bobby Parnell is the only relief pitcher on the Mets’ 40-man roster who has thrown more than 200 innings in the big leagues, and most of his peers aren’t even close. The team still has to address several needs this winter, but adding a veteran relief pitcher like Belisario could very well be in Sandy Alderson’s offseason plan.