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Hesitant to hand out free agent dollars, Mets target Alex Colome

Sandy Alderson isn’t a fan of the free agent market for relievers.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Year after year, we hear the same thing. Sandy Alderson is not a fan of long-term contracts. That doesn’t appear to be something that going to change even with the Mets needing to improve their bullpen this offseason.

At the winter meetings in Orlando, the New York general manager is signaling that he has no issue waiting until January to sign a relief pitcher. If that’s how to extract the best value, that’s what he’s going to do.

"We think there are some values out there," Alderson said. "And to the extent that the market gets overheated, I don't think that we'll jump into the inferno."

The news comes on the heels of Brandon Morrow signing with the Cubs for two years and $21 million while the Cardinals inked Luke Gregerson to a two-year, $11 million deal.

If Alderson is going to sit back and wait for the market to cool down, he could still look for bullpen help via other avenues, such as the trade market. Rays closer Alex Colome is a hot commodity there, and the Mets have checked in on him, according to the Daily News.

New York already has plenty of closing experience on its roster with Jeurys Familia and A.J. Ramos on board, but the depth of the relief unit is something that needs to be addressed since the front office doesn’t want the starters to pass through the lineup a third time.

Colome posted a 3.24 ERA last year with a 58 strikeouts, 23 walks, and 47 saves in 62.2 innings. The year before, he was even better with a 1.91 ERA, 71 strikeouts, and 15 walks in 56.2 innings. While his strikeout rate took a big hit from 2015 to 2016, the 28-year-old has done more than enough to prove his worth as a solid late-inning relief pitcher.

With his track record and three years of team control remaining, Colome will demand more than a couple of minor prospects on the trade market.