The New York Mets are among the teams who are interested in free agent reliever Joe Kelly, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Along with the Mets and the Boston Red Sox, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox are rumored to be pursuing the right-hander.
Kelly—who was originally a starting pitcher and officially transitioned to the bullpen in 2016—was inconsistent for the Red Sox and finished 2018 with a 4.39 ERA, a 3.57 FIP, and a 0.7 fWAR in 73 games. The 30-year-old struck out 68 batters and walked 32 in 65.2 innings while sporting a troubling 4.39 BB/9 and a career-worst 67.9% left-on-base percentage.
He got off to a tremendous start, posting a 1.73 ERA, a 2.28 FIP, and a .378 opponent OPS in 26 innings pitched through May 29. However, he struggled once June began and ended up with a 6.13 ERA, a 4.42 FIP, and an .823 opponent OPS in his final 39.2 innings pitched. Despite the late-season struggles, he shined during the postseason—0.79 ERA, 1.13 FIP, zero walks, 13 strikeouts in 11.1 innings pitched—and became one of Alex Cora’s most trusted options out of the pen as the team won their ninth World Series title.
Brodie Van Wagenen drastically improved the bullpen with the acquisition of closer Edwin Diaz from the Seattle Mariners, but his job in repairing the pen is far from finished. Kelly is just one of several names that the Mets have been linked to since the beginning of free agency. As recently as yesterday, Mark Feinsand reported that the Mets have expressed interest in reliever David Robertson. The club has also previously expressed interest in veteran left-hander Andrew Miller.