The New York Mets have interest in adding a big name reliever to their bullpen in 2021.
With a new ownership group, the New York Mets faithful have been waiting in anticipation for the team to sign one (or more of) the top-tier free agents this Hot Stove season. So far, that hasn’t happened, but that can be attributed to a slow market and the lack of clarity on the rules for the 2021 season. However, the Mets appear to have interest in a bullpen arm.
According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, the Mets have expressed interest in former Cleveland Indians closer Brad Hand.
Mets looking to add a left-handed arm to the bullpen
As Heyman mentioned, Mets president Sandy Alderson hinted that the team would’ve claimed Hand off waivers. The issue was that the new owner Steve Cohen hadn’t received approval from the league yet, so it was out of their hands. Now, they have the chance to send him an offer if they so choose.
The decision by Cleveland to waive Hand on Oct. 29 came as a shock, simply because he’s one of the best closers in the game. Through 23 games this past season, Hand led the league in saves (16) and games finished (21) while recording a 2.05 ERA and 0.773 WHIP.
Some might wonder why the Mets would pursue Hand after they signed Trevor May to a two-year, $15.5 million contract this winter. Well, when you look at the Mets’ official depth chart, their entire bullpen is filled with right-handed pitchers. Bringing Hand in would give manager Luis Rojas some variety. Not only that, but Hand would be a huge upgrade at closer over Edwin Diaz, who has struggled ever since coming over from the Seattle Mariners.
We’ll know if New York’s interest in Hand is truly legit once we hear from Cohen via his personal Twitter account.