The Mets were searching for relievers even before Seth Lugo’s elbow became an issue, but the right-hander’s imminent surgery has only underscored the need for reinforcements.
With Lugo scheduled to undergo a procedure Tuesday that will remove a loose body from the elbow and prevent him from throwing for at least six weeks, the Mets have remained in contact with free-agent Trevor Rosenthal, according to an industry source.
Another option the Mets had pursued, Justin Wilson, agreed to terms with the Yankees on Monday. The lefty spent the last two seasons with the Mets, who had reached out to his camp in recent days.
Over the weekend, the Mets added relievers Mike Montgomery and Tommy Hunter on minor league contracts.
But Rosenthal could bring the kind of high-impact arm that would complement Edwin Diaz, Trevor May and Jeurys Familia in the late innings. The Mets also have lefty Aaron Loup, Dellin Betances, Miguel Castro and Robert Gsellman among bullpen options.
Recently, the Mets have shown interest in trading Familia and Betances, according to a source, but last week’s decision to unload Brad Brach, who was designated for assignment, coupled with Lugo’s physical setback could scuttle that idea. The fact Familia is owed $11.5 million for this season and Betances $6 million presents enough of a challenge for team officials in trying to trade either.
Rosenthal, 30, appeared in 23 games for the Royals and Padres last season and pitched to a 1.90 ERA. His 41.8 strikeout percentage was fifth among MLB relievers.
The Mets’ biggest bullpen expenditure this offseason has been the two-year deal worth $15.5 million that May received as the first signing in team president Sandy Alderson’s new regime. The Mets’ biggest free-agent addition has been catcher James McCann, who arrived on a four-year contract worth $40.6 million. Marcus Stroman returned on a qualifying offer worth $18.9 million in the final days of GM Brodie Van Wagenen’s regime.
After missing on the top free-agent starting pitcher on the market, Trevor Bauer, the Mets have come up short in bidding for backup options such as James Paxton and Jake Arrieta. Inventory has receded, with Jake Odorizzi and Taijuan Walker as perhaps the best of the remaining free-agent possibilities.
The Mets have also maintained interest in Jackie Bradley Jr., as they look for a defensive center fielder that would allow Brandon Nimmo to play left. But without an agreement in place between MLB and the MLBPA that would implement the universal DH, the Mets could be in a holding pattern regarding Bradley.
Credit: Notigroup Newsroom.
[This article may have been written with information from various sources]