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Which Bullpen Arms Should The Mets Sign For 2021?

With Steve Cohen taking over the New York Mets in November there is a ton of hype and hope amongst fans that the eventual richest owner in baseball will be a big spender. However, we honestly have no idea how Cohen is going to spend once he is in control of the team.

The Mets bullpen should be a priority for the Mets this offseason as the team’s pitching has seriously struggled in 2020. There is a realistic scenario in which the Mets need like five new pitchers in their bullpen next season. Here are four bullpen arms that the Mets should sign this coming offseason.

Liam Hendriks

It is not a secret that the Mets need more bullpen help, especially since they put their ace reliever Seth Lugo in the rotation in 2020.

Liam Hendriks has been the best relief pitcher in baseball over the last two seasons and will be the best bullpen arm available this offseason. What Hendriks has done the last two seasons for the Oakland Athletics has been absolutely remarkable.

In 2019, Hendriks pitched 85 innings with an ERA of 1.80 which is backed up by his FIP of 1.87. He had a K/9 of 13.13 and a B/9 of 2.22. Hendriks was worth an insane 3.9 fWAR over his 85 innings, which tied him with Marcus Stroman who pitched 184.1 innings. Hendriks led all relief pitchers in fWAR.

In 2020, Hendriks was somehow been even better. Over 25.1 innings, Hendriks finished with an ERA of 1.78 and a FIP of 1.14. He had a K/9 of 13.14 and an insanely low B/9 of 1.07. He is third amongst relievers with an fWAR of 1.4 in his 25.1 innings.

After Edwin Díaz and Seth Lugo, the Mets have a bullpen filled with huge question marks. If the Mets want to be serious next season about contending, they absolutely need to spend some money to acquire a few elite relief arms. If there is any relief pitcher worth spending money on this offseason, it is Liam Hendriks.

Trevor Rosenthal

Trevor Rosenthal has re-established himself as one of the game’s elite relief pitchers in 2020 and should be on the Mets radar this offseason. Rosenthal famously pitched 20.1 scoreless innings in the playoffs to begin his postseason career. In 2020, he pitched 23.2 innings with an ERA of 1.90 and a K/9 of 14.45.

Over the course of eight seasons, Rosenthal has pitched 364 innings with a 3.36 ERA and 7.8 fWAR. Since his debut in 2012, Rosenthal is tied for 15th amongst relief pitchers in fWAR. From 2013-2015, Rosenthal was arguably one of the best relief pitchers in all of baseball.

After starting his career as an elite relief pitcher, Rosenthal fell off a bit in 2016 but re-found his groove in 2017 before getting hurt and missing all of 2018. When he came back in 2019, Rosenthal really struggled and there were questions about if he will ever return to form. Fortunately, Rosenthal is back to being an elite pitcher in 2020 and should get a raise from his 2020 salary of $1.75 million.

Rosenthal would be a big help to the Mets bullpen.

Trevor May

Trevor May has established himself as a decent relief pitcher over the last three seasons after struggling early in his career as a starter. In 2018, May pitched 25.1 innings and had a 3.20 ERA and a K/9 of 12.79. In 2019, May seriously broke out and pitched 64.1 innings with a 2.94 ERA and a K/9 of 11.05.

In 2020, May regressed a bit with an ERA of 3.86 over 23.1 innings while his HR/9 rate practically doubled. However, May’s strikeout rate has risen to a K/9 of 14.66 and his walk rate lowered by a whole walk.

If the Mets can land May for a couple of million dollars, the Mets should totally sign him. Anyone who pitches over 60 innings with an ERA below 3.00 is an upgrade for any bullpen. Even May ends up being a combined version of this season and last season, he would be a huge improvement for the Mets bullpen.

Keone Kela

Keone Kela is a cheap high upside option for the Mets. Kela earned $3.725 million this year with the Pirates but has only managed to pitch in 2 innings in 2020 after dealing with a forearm injury.

Since making his debut in 2015, Kela has pitched 216.2 innings with a 3.24 ERA and 3.30 FIP. His K/9 is 11.05 and his B/9 is high at 3.45. Over the last six seasons, Kela has been worth 4.1 fWAR, which is tied with Archie Bradley and Héctor Neris amongst relief pitchers.

Considering 2020 was a lost season for Kela, he might come cheaper than his $3.725 million dollars 2020 salary. Even if he does cost that much, he is worth a flyer from the Mets.

For more MLB content, check out Zachary’s author page or Twitter.

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