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Mets in discussions with Brad Hand

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The team continues to improve.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Cleveland Indians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets are in discussions with free agent left-handed relief pitcher Brad Hand, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, who just minutes earlier had tweeted that Hand and the Mets were close to a deal. The 30-year-old had his team option for the 2021 season declined by Cleveland early in the offseason, and he surprisingly cleared waivers in the process of that happening.

But the Mets’ new regime had not taken over just yet at that time, and in one of his early appearances since coming back to the Mets as team president, Sandy Alderson indicated that picking up Hand off waivers is something he would have considered had the new ownership and front office been in charge.

Hand, who got his start in the big leagues as a starting pitcher for the Marlins, turned into a great reliever in San Diego in 2016. Since then, his worst single season mark has been a 3.30 ERA in 2019, but he’s posted a sub-3.00 ERA in every other season. In the shortened 2020 season, he had a 2.05 ERA and 1.37 FIP in 22.0 innings of work. Rosenthal notes that if a deal is completed, it’s expected to be for two years.