Welp… Andrew Miller to Queens didn’t happen.
The lefty signed with the St. Louis Cardinals on a two year, 25 million dollar deal last week. With Miller being on the Mets radar, and Zach Britton asking for closer type dollars, Brodie Van Wagenen needs to get creative. Here are three names that could be in the Orange and Blue’s bullpen come Spring Training.
Justin Wilson is an interesting name when it comes to being the primary lefty in the bullpen. He had a bounce back 2018 after a horrible 2017 season. Wilson finished with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.427 WHIP with 69 strikeouts in just 54.2 innings pitched. He did a great job against left handed hitters as well, keeping them to a .190 batting average. He also is not terrible against right handed hitters either, keeping them to a .244 batting average. At 31 years old, Wilson is a guy the Mets can get cheap on a two year deal. The former Yankee is a name for all Mets fans to keep an eye on.
Another veteran who had a great 2018 was Tony Sipp. He was the primary southpaw and one of the only bright spots in the otherwise rough Houston Astros bullpen. He finished with a 1.86 ERA 38.2 innings. Sipp is more of a situational arm, compared to a guy like Wilson who can face hitters on either side of the plate. With Daniel Zamora potentially being the second left hander in the pen, Sipp may be able to bring a great veteran presence and a solid postseason resumé to Queens.
The most interesting name the Mets should consider is Oliver Perez. Yes, THE Oliver Perez. The now reliever was a starter for the Mets from 2006 to 2010. He revitalized his career as a reliever the last few seasons, and 2018 was a good year for him. Ollie finished the 2018 campaign with a 1.39 ERA in 39.1 innings pitched. He also had 43 strike outs. He has been solid for the last few seasons out of the pen. Some Mets fans may look at this name and get severe knots in their stomachs, but don’t worry, he won’t be anywhere near the rotation.
Brodie Van Wagenen has done a good job this off-season. Bringing in names that will help them compete this year. He has checked off a lot of boxes on his to-do list, but a left handed reliever is one that remains open, for now.