The Mets will attempt to sign a late-game relief pitcher, even if it means offering a multi-year deal, a source recently told Newsday's Marc Carig.
Carig believes the group being targeted by the Mets includes Addison Reed, Brandon Morrow, Mike Minor and Bryan Shaw, among others, all of whom are projected to ink contracts in the two- to four-year range.
The willingness to sign free-agent relievers to multi-year deals is a shift in strategy for Sandy Alderson, who has mostly added to his bullpen by signing journeyman pitchers late in the offseason. However, as Carig was first report, the Mets (like most of successful MLB teams during the last few years) intend to limit their starting pitchers to facing the opposing lineup only two times each night.
"The teams that have the discipline to do that are getting better results out of those starting pitchers," Alderson told reporters Monday at the GM Meetings in Orlando. "They have the discipline to do it and they have the bullpen capacity.
To create this level bullpen, Alderson said it will require having experienced, reliable relief pitchers, some of which will be capable of throwing more than one inning each game.
"We will maximize everyone's ability on the roster the best that we can," new Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Tuesday, according to a tweet from Carig. In short, Callaway explained about his starting pitchers, "We won't let them struggle a third time through."
As it stands, Jeurys Familia, Jerry Blevins and AJ Ramos are currently the only pitchers on the 4-man roster guaranteed to be in Alderson's 2018 bullpen.
Last offseason, Alderson reportedly had been looking to trade for a former closer, who was still successful pitching in high-leverage situations. However, he ended up only reacquiring Fernando Salas, who was designated for assignment less than six months later.
In addition to the names above, I expect to also hear a lot about the Mets expressing interest in Luke Gregerson, Brandon Kintzler, Matt Albers, and others.
In particular, though, keep an eye on Shaw, who I hear Mets manager Mickey Callaway is pushing hard for the Mets to pursue. He and Shaw had a terrific relationship in Cleveland, where Shaw was used in all sorts of situations, including save opportunities >> To read more on what I think of Shaw, click here.