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Finding bullpen help for the Mets, Part 7

The Mets have still only made some fringe bullpen moves.

Milwaukee Brewers v Atlanta Braves
Collin McHugh
Photo by Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/Getty Images

As the offseason continues to drag on with the Mets and the rest of baseball seemingly in a holding pattern until Yoshinobu Yamamoto makes a decision on where he’ll sign, there is quite frankly not a ton to write about at the moment. So what better way to spend some time than digging even deeper into the pool of free agent relief pitchers?

In the previous six parts of this series, we’ve touched on a bunch of relievers who could help the Mets next year and, in some cases, beyond. Some of those pitchers have signed elsewhere already, but we press on.

Thus far, the Mets have signed three relievers: Austin Adams, Michael Tonkin, and Jorge López. Ideally, all three of those pitchers should be competing for a place in the bullpen in spring training, not locked into an Opening Day roster spot.

As for this series, Will Smith would have been next but has signed a one-year deal with the Royals. And former Mets prospect Michael Fulmer would have been after him, but he’s expected to miss the 2024 season following elbow surgery. Andrew Chafin would have been in the middle of installment, too, but he’s signed with the Tigers. With that, let’s continue.

Collin McHugh: The 36-year-old made his major league debut with the Mets back in 2012, and despite having hit free agency several times over the past few years, he’s always wound up elsewhere. Traded to the Rockies for Eric Young Jr. during the 2013 season, McHugh has since spent time with the Astros, Rays, and Braves and carved out a very nice major league career for himself along the way. From 2014 through 2017, he was in the Astros’ rotation and pitched pretty well, but a transition to the bullpen in his age-31 season in 2018 has worked out well for him. Since the beginning of that season, McHugh has thrown a total of 339.0 innings with a 3.11 ERA and a 3.22 FIP. He struggled a bit this year, finishing with a 4.30 ERA and a 4.09 FIP, but he was very good in 2022 and might still have something left in the tank.

John Brebbia: Having spent three seasons with the Cardinals and three with the Giants, Brebbia has a 3.42 ERA over the course of his career. The 33-year-old righty had his best season by ERA back in his rookie year in 2017, but his recent work hasn’t been too shabby. In 2022, he had a 3.18 ERA and a 3.32 FIP with the Giants, and this year, he had a 3.99 ERA and a 3.93 FIP. Generally speaking, he’s had decent strikeout rates, good walk rates, and hasn’t been too prone to giving up home runs. He’s probably better than most of the Mets’ non-Díaz options right now.

Dylan Floro: Later this month, Floro will turn 33, and he’s coming off a season that saw him post an ugly 4.76 ERA despite having a 2.96 FIP. In the three seasons that preceded this one, he was much better, totaling a 2.85 ERA and a 2.91 FIP with the Dodgers and Marlins. And for his career, he has a 3.42 ERA and a 3.09 FIP. He’s not throwing quite as hard as he did in 2019 and 2020, but he looks like as decent a bounce-back candidate as there’s been in this pool of relievers so far.