Now that their headline-grabbing trade with the Blue Jays is done, the New York Mets are turning their attention to the bullpen, Jon Heyman of CBSSports tweets.
The Mets bullpen was terrible in 2012, with the second worst reliever ERA of any team (4.65). Heyman mentions Matt Capps, Jose Valverde and former Met Francisco Rodriquez as possible options should the Mets look to players with closing experience.
The Mets bullpen was sorely lacking in productive left-handed pitchers last season, with both Tim Byrdak and Josh Edgin posting ERA’s well over 4.00. The Mets have few lefty options in house and the team should probably look to sign at least one free agent southpaw to help out in the bullpen. Former Met Pedro Feliciano, J.P. Howell and Rafael Perez could be options for them.
The bullpen also lacks a reliable late-inning solution. They could stick with 2012 closer Frank Francisco for the ninth inning and hope that the elbow issues that cost him time and effectiveness are behind him next season, but as Heyman suggests, adding an experienced closer is definitely a possibility.
It is hard to imagine the Mets bringing problem-child Francisco Rodriquez back after his issues during his previous stint, but Capps and Valverde are certainly possibilities. Given the Mets cost-cutting this off-season, it is also possible that they simply bump the lone bright spot of the 2012 bullpen, Bobby Parnell, into the closer’s role and target less costly middle relief arms.