Yesterday, we kicked off a brief pre-trade deadline series looking at some relievers that might be available from the bullpens of the non-contending teams, beginning with the A’s, Royals, and Tigers. We’ll pick up right from there and run through the rosters of the other bad teams in baseball, of which there are quite a few, to see if any pitchers might be particularly good fits for the Mets as the deadline at 6:00 PM EDT on August 2.
Angels: Given the Angels’ drastic fall from contention earlier in the season and the fact that they’re even entertaining offers for Shohei Ohtani, the team would probably be happy to part with its veteran relievers. Raisel Iglesias is in the first year of a four-year, $58 million contract and has a 4.11 ERA and a 3.18 FIP with good strikeout and walk rates but a home run problem, especially given the context of home run hitting in 2022. In five of his previous seven seasons in the big leagues, he’s posted a sub-3.00 ERA.
Archie Bradley is eligible for free agency following this season, and had he not broken his right elbow in a brawl earlier this season, he might have made sense as a flier despite his higher-than-usual ERA. Trading for him now would be a complete roll of the dice since he hasn’t even reached a rehab assignment yet.
Ryan Tepera is in the first year of a two-year, $14 million contract, and he’s struggled a bit with a 4.38 ERA and a 4.28 FIP in 37.0 innings. Just last year, he was very good, splitting his season between the Cubs and White Sox as he put up a 2.79 ERA and 2.73 FIP in 61.1 innings, though it’s worth noting that those numbers represented his best single season in recent years.
Rangers: The left-handed Matt Moore is still around, and he’s been very good for the Rangers as a reliever this year and is set for free agency after this season. In 48.2 innings, he has a 1.66 ERA and a 2.79 FIP. The walk rate is a little higher than you’d like to see, but again, he’s been a successful left-handed reliever, something the Mets do not currently have.
Brock Burke has been outstanding, but he’s under team control through the 2026 season, and with their recent big signings, the Rangers probably intend to contend sooner than that. Matt Bush is having something of a breakout year with a good strikeout rate and a 2.95 ERA in 36.2 innings, though he’s under team control through the 2024 season. 34-year-old Garrett Richards is here, too, but given that he’s carrying a 5.28 ERA as a reliever, he might not be appealing.
Red Sox: Of all the teams on this list, the Red Sox are probably the best, but they’ve been in a slide recently that’s reportedly made them consider trading away a bunch of players. John Schreiber—no relation to Green Man, as far as we know—has been their best reliever, but he isn’t set for free agency until after the 2026 season.
There are a couple of other relievers under long term control who might not be available, but 30-year-old lefty Matt Strahm is due to hit free agency after this season. In 27.2 innings across 33 appearances, he has a 3.58 ERA and 2.62 FIP, which would at least make him an upgrade from Joely Rodríguez. But he’s on the injured list with a left wrist contusion after getting hit by a line drive in a game on July 12.
Nationals: Old friend Erasmo Ramirez has a 3.02 ERA as a reliever and will be a free agent at the end of this season. Carl Edwards Jr. is rocking a 3.16 ERA and will also be a free agent at the end of the season. Veteran Steve Cishek is bound for free agency, too, and has a 3.74 ERA and 4.16 FIP. He’s still been useful, but his most recent season with a sub-3.00 ERA came back in 2019 with the Cubs.
Reds: There aren’t many appealing options on the Reds’ roster, with Edwin Díaz’s brother Alexis being in his rookie year and presumably unavailable. But the left-handed Ross Detwiler is probably the closest thing to a match, but far from an ideal one with his having allowed 1.69 home runs per nine innings, a very high rate relative to league average. The Mets did get left-handed reliever Phillip Diehl from the Reds alongside Tyler Naquin just a few days ago, though he may not see any major league time this year.
Pirates: David Bednar represented the Pirates at the All-Star Game, and the 27-year-old has a very good 2.70 ERA and 2.50 FIP this year. He’s not set to hit free agency until after the 2026 season, though, which would presumably allow the Pirates to set a high price tag for him on the trade market. Will Crowe is on that same timeline and has a 3.21 ERA this year, albeit without a track record of major league success before this year.
Cubs: David Robertson has already been linked to the Mets in trade rumors, and the 37-year-old is set for free agency at the end of the season and carrying a 2.23 ERA for the lowly Cubs. Mychal Givens has a 2.66 ERA so far this year, which would be his best single season mark in his major league career, and he and the Cubs have $5 million mutual option for the 2023 season.
Diamondbacks: Between performance and contract status, Ian Kennedy could make some sense, but the 37-year-old has a 3.45 ERA and 4.40 FIP in 31.1 innings this year. Caleb Smith is set for free agency after the 2023 season, but he has a major home run problem that would make him very risky for a contender, even one that needs a lefty in its bullpen like the Mets.
Rockies: The most obvious trade candidate here might have been Daniel Bard, but as has often been the case with trade chips in recent years, Colorado opted to extend him and not trade him ahead of the deadline. Alex Colomé is set for free agency this winter, though, and has a pretty good 3.20 ERA and 2.79 FIP in 39.1 innings.
Marlins: Anthony Bass is having the best season of his career with a 1.41 ERA and 2.07 FIP, and the 34-year-old has a club option for 2023 at $3 million. The Marlins presumably wouldn’t give him away for nothing, but maybe he’s attainable.
Dylan Floro is set for free agency after the 2023 season, and the 31-year-old has decent numbers this year with a 3.49 ERA and 3.26 FIP. In recent seasons, he’s been a bit better than that, putting up a 2.75 ERA with the Dodgers and Marlins across the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
Giants: Like the Red Sox, the Giants were looking like a competitive team this year until they suddenly weren’t. There aren’t a ton of good fits here, but 32-year-old John Brebbia and 29-year-old left Jarlin García are both set for free agency at the end of the 2023 season and putting up good numbers this year.