The Mets reportedly have interest in Brad Hand, one of the top relievers on the free agent market. Sandy Alderson had previously hinted that, had he been in charge, he would have claimed Hand off waivers when Cleveland declined his option, so the rumor of their interest now does not come as a big surprise.
The 30-year-old makes a ton of sense for the Mets, who are in need of relief pitching, particularly from the left side. Hand has put together quite a career for himself since moving to the bullpen full-time for the Padres in 2016. In 320 innings as a reliever across the last five seasons, he’s put up a 2.70 ERA, a 2.92 FIP, a 12.21 K/9, and has held batters to just a .200 AVG against him. He took over as the closer for the Padres in 2017 and has totaled over 100 saves between San Diego and Cleveland since then.
Hand is among the elite closers in the game, and he looked to be his peak in last year’s shortened season when he posted a sparking 2.05 ERA and amassed 16 saves in 22.0 innings for Cleveland. Which makes it all the more puzzling why Cleveland declined his $10 million option for 2021.
Since Hand went unclaimed on the waiver wire at the $10 million price, he figures to get less than that on the free agent market. Hand would bring some serious value to the beleaguered Mets bullpen.