Last year around this time, the Mets made some aggressive moves in the offseason. Owner Steve Cohen and the club’s management team made a big Black Friday shopping spree, signing outfielders Marco Cagna and Starling Marte. A day later, the club continued shopping third baseman Eduardo Escobar.

It was a very happy holiday season for the Mets. As it turns out, the Mets and their fans are still very thankful for those three players.

Fans are expecting a repeat of last winter. Less than a month into the 2022-2023 offseason. The Mets made just one spectacular contract, bringing closer Edwin Diaz to a five-year, $102 million deal, the most guaranteed money in history.

But apart from Diaz, it was relatively slow.

The pitching depth isn’t exactly what fans are excited about, but those are exactly the types of moves the Mets have made so far. To recap, they claimed three off waivers in lefty Tayler Sauced and righties Stephen Ridings and William Woods, and they acquired another pair of righties, Eliezer Hernandez and Jeff Brigham, in a trade with the Miami Marlins.

Continuing the theme of minor league bullpen depth, they signed left-hander Zach McEnhearn and right-hander Danny Reyes to Major League spring training invitations on Thursday.

These may be some pretty unsexy moves, but they’re necessary. Building depth at the Double-A and Triple-A levels allows the club to be ready when major league depth takes a hit. There have been times in Mets history when the club has been forced to sign players from the minor leagues to fill voids for injured players. This gives the team flexibility when it comes to the bullpen.

That doesn’t change the fact that the Mets will need to acquire some big names. The Mets will look to add a handful of arms to join Diaz and Drew Smith, the only two regulars left on the roster.

Meanwhile, one former bullpen arm found a new team Thursday. The Boston Red Sox signed left-hander Joely Rodriguez to a one-year, $2 million plus bonus deal. Rodriguez came to the Mets this year during spring training, which saw Miguel Castro cross town to the Yankees. He was a character at the club and was well liked by his teammates at Queens. He was also the only regular lefty in the bullpen, but he was unable to repeat his 2021 performance, posting a 2-4 record with a 4.47 ERA.

Rodriguez’s departure highlights the work the Mets still have to do in the bullpen, and there’s also the challenge of finding 3-4 relievers, one of which may or may not be Jacob deGrom.

But it’s important to remember that the baseball offseason is a multi-month affair. It won’t allay the fears of fans who have been roasted by the franchise many times, but there’s still plenty of time to put the roster pieces in place.

And if nothing else, maybe try asking Santa for a deGrom.

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https://www.readingeagle.com/2022/11/24/mets-prioritizing-organizational-depth-in-bullpen/

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