As the Mets retool their roster and look ahead to 2018, one need is being aggressively addressed: the team’s lack of young relievers.
Late last week, the Mets traded their longtime first baseman, Lucas Duda, to the Tampa Bay Rays for 23-year-old Drew Smith, a right-handed reliever who was a third-round pick in the 2015 draft.
And on Monday morning, just hours before the 4 p.m. trading deadline, the Mets sent their interim closer, Addison Reed, to the Boston Red Sox for three more bullpen prospects. Stephen Nogosek, Jamie Callahan and Gershon Bautista. All three are all right-handed and 22 years of age and all possess fastballs in the mid-90s.
With the Reed deal done, the Mets will keep trying to move some of their other pending free agents, like outfielders Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce, and infielder Asdrubal Cabrera. The market for position players, however, has been limited, and the Mets have prepared to have several of these players remain on the roster through the end of the season.
But with the trades they have been able to make, the Mets have already moved to bolster a bullpen that has been one of the weaker ones in baseball in 2017. In addition to using Duda and Reed to stockpile prospects, the Mets also sent away two prospects of their own last week to acquire yet another reliever — A.J. Ramos, who had been the closer for the Miami Marlins and remains under team control next season.
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