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Finding bullpen help for the Mets, Part 8

Yes, this series is still happening.

Chicago Cubs v Washington Nationals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Things remain pretty quiet for the Mets, and the team still needs bullpen help. Earlier this week, we dropped the seventh installment of this series about free agent relievers who could help the team. Dylan Floro was one of them, and he signed with the Nationals a few hours after that was published. With that, let’s look at a few more relievers.

Brent Honeywell: The 28-year-old threw a few innings with the Rays in 2021, the first season in which he reached the big leagues. He pitched exclusively in the minors in 2022, but this year, he made it back to the big leagues, throwing 46.2 innings out of the Padres’ bullpen before the White Sox claimed him off waivers in early August. In total, his season wasn’t particularly impressive, as he had a 4.46 ERA and a 5.62 FIP with a pretty low strikeout rate by the standards of relievers and a home run issue.

Anthony Bass: Coming off a 2022 season that saw him post a 1.54 ERA and a 3.00 FIP with the Marlins and Blue Jays, Bass saw his ERA increase drastically this year in just 20.0 innings of work in Toronto. By early June, he had a 4.95 ERA and a 4.66 FIP. Along the way, he shared an anti-LGBTQ video on social media, apologized for and deleted it, and was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays before he was scheduled to catch a ceremonial first pitch during the team’s Pride celebration. He hasn’t pitched for a major league team or any minor league affiliates since then.

Brad Boxberger: If it feels like Boxberger has been around forever, well, he kind of has. An excellent reliever for the Padres and Rays early in his major league career, Boxberger has had some good and bad stretches in the years since. The 36-year-old had a 4.95 ERA and 5.31 FIP this year in just 20.0 innings of work with the Cubs. From 2020 through 2022, however, he had a 3.13 ERA and 3.76 FIP in 146.2 innings with the Marlins and Brewers. Over that very good stretch, his fastball averaged 93.1 miles per hour, and this year, it only averaged 91.4. Boxberger’s strikeout rate plummeted, too, and maybe he’s toast. But maybe his relatively recent success makes him worth a look in spring training.

Nick Wittgren: After spending the first three seasons of his major league career with the Marlins, Wittgren has pitched in Cleveland, St. Louis, and—most recently—Kansas City. With the Royals this year, he had a 4.97 ERA and a 4.36 FIP. The 32-year-old’s most recent good season came in 2020, as he had a 3.42 ERA in the shortened year. From his major league debut in 2016 through that season, he had a pretty respectable 3.36 ERA in 209.0 innings of work. Since then, however, he has a 5.24 ERA in 120.1 innings. It’s not impossible that he’d turn things around somewhere in 2024, and hey, it’s not like the Mets haven’t been buying low all offseason.

Shintaro Fujinami: After posting an 8.57 ERA in 49.1 innings with the A’s to start his major league career this season, the 29-year-old Fujinami was traded to the Orioles. He was much more effective there, though he still struggled, putting up a 4.85 ERA in 29.2 innings of work. It’s worth noting that his ERA was significantly worse in seven starts with the A’s than it was as a reliever.