Addison Reed was not doing well in Arizona in 2015. In fact, he struggled so mightily they sent him to the minors in June. At the time he was 2-2 with a 5.92 ERA and had long been removed as the team’s closer. Two months later when Sandy Alderson was looking to bolster the bullpen for the stretch run, he traded for Reed and the former closer excelled with his new team.
In 15.1 innings with the Mets, he was 1-1 with a 1.17 ERA. He struck out 17 and picked up a save. He had a habit of allowing inherited runners to score, but he showed enough promise where the Mets tendered him a $5.3 million contract heading into 2016.
After two down years in Arizona and a roller coaster 2015, Addison Reed put together a remarkable career year in 2016. His 1.97 ERA, 1.98 FIP, and 1.5 BB/9 were all career lows, and his 91 strikeouts were a career high along with his 77.2 innings pitched.
Fairly early on in spring training, manager Terry Collins named Reed his setup man despite having Hansel Robles and Antonio Bastardo as alternatives. It was the right call by Collins as Reed took the job and ran with it. He came out of the gates swinging and was dominant at the start of the season. As the season progressed, the Mets’ bullpen was a strength for the ballclub, with Reed playing a key role in the eighth inning. He even earned the praise of his manager who considered giving Reed a spot on the All-Star team.
By the time the season was over, his 40 holds set a franchise record, and he was nominated for the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award.
Reed’s dominance could stem from effective use of his slider this season. He got swings and misses 20.97% of the time, which was the highest of his career, not counting 2011 when he only pitched 7.1 innings. The 10.75% whiff rate on his fastball was the second highest of his career, again not counting 2011.
Despite the heavy workload this season, Reed was incredible the second half of the season. He did not allow an earned run in all of July, and he only allowed seven total earned runs after the All-Star break. In the Wild Card game he kept the game scoreless when he worked out of a bases loaded situation in the eighth.
The Mets have Reed under control for one more year before he becomes a free agent after the 2017 season. He will get a nice pay raise next year and is projected to get approximately $10.6 million. If Reed puts up numbers like he did in 2016, he will be well worth the investment.