New York is interested in upgrading its bullpen and is considering Angels reliever Joe Smith, Atlanta’s Chris Withrow and Brewers closer Jeremy Jeffress, according to Mike Puma of The New York Post.
Since Tyler Clippard is under contract through 2017, the Mets aren’t expected to pursue him, Puma adds.
The Mets’ rotation lacks stability, with Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard suffering from bone spurs and Bartolo Colon laboring through his last few starts. Since there aren’t many controllable starters expected to be available in advance of the non-waiver trade deadline, the Mets could prioritize upgrading their bullpen.
Adding Smith might be the most realistic option for the Mets, since he is scheduled to become a free agent at the end of the season and would only be a rental. Over 33.0 innings with the Angels this season, Smith has pitched to a 4.36 ERA and 4.91 FIP and wouldn’t be a costly addition with regard to prospects.
While the Braves have made it clear most of their roster is available before the deadline, they might be hesitant to trade Withrow within the division. Over 27.0 innings, Withrow has pitched to a 3.33 ERA and 4.67 FIP.
Jeffress, 28, would likely be an ideal addition for the Mets, but he would almost certainly force New York to part with several prospects. As Milwaukee’s closer, Jeffress has pitched to a 2.23 ERA and 3.35 FIP to complement 23 saves.
New York’s bullpen has thrived to this point, pitching to a 3.13 ERA, which ranks third in the National League and fifth in baseball. The Mets’ rotation has pitched to the third best ERA in baseball, but the club is still considering improving its pitching staff.
The Mets enter play Friday six games behind the Nationals in the division and a game and half back in the Wild Card standings. As a result, they will likely be active as the deadline approaches.