New York may have failed to trade away outfielder Jay Bruce this winter, but that doesn’t mean that the team is done looking for bullpen help. With Jeurys Familia potentially facing a suspension due to his domestic violence incident and a bunch of inexperienced players in front of projected closer Addison Reed, the Mets could stand to bring in a veteran reliever or two before spring training.
According to Fox Sports’s Ken Rosenthal, one of the guys New York is considering for that role is Giants right-hander Sergio Romo. The other two candidates — right-hander Joe Smith and lefty Jerry Blevins — should be even more familiar to Mets fans.
Romo only saved four games last year, but he ended the season as San Francisco’s closer thanks to the struggles of Santiago Casilla. Romo’s campaign was shorted by an elbow injury, but he still got in 30.2 innings with a 2.64 ERA. Although he struggled in the postseason with three runs given up in two innings, the Mexico native has 84 saves in his big league career and will likely demand a multi-year deal at around $10 million per year.
Since being traded away by the Mets following the 2008 season, Smith has fulfilled his promise as a reliable setup man with a solid ground ball rate that makes up for his mediocre strikeout rate. Whiles splitting time between the Angels and Cubs last year, Smith gave up an uncharacteristic eight home runs in 52 innings while maintaining a 3.46 ERA. That performance, as well as Smith’s lack of closer experience, is sure to make him a more affordable option than Romo.
Of all three players listed by Rosenthal, Blevins seems to be the most likely to return to Queens since he had so much success with the Mets in 2016. The 33-year-old struck out 11.14 batters per nine innings with a 2.79 ERA as a lefty specialist, and he would give the Mets a more reliable option in that role than Josh Smoker or Josh Edgin, the top left-handed relief pitchers currently on the roster.