The Mets have made re-tooling their bullpen a top priority this winter.
That stands to reason, as in five games in the World Series, the Mets bullpen gave up 24 earned runs in 51 1/3 innings, allowing 47 hits and 17 walks while blowing all three save opportunities they had, arguably costing them a World Championship in 2015.
One of the free agent relievers the Mets have expressed interest in is RHP Joakim Soria, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
But the Mets have company in their interest, as the Royals, Giants, Rangers and Twins have all expressed interest in Soria, according to James Schmehl of Michigan Live.
An early suitor for Soria’s services was the Tigers, who traded him to the Pirates mid-year. And according to Schmehl, the Tigers were attempting to negotiate a two-year deal with the free agent reliever, but he turned that deal down, the two sides never agreed to a contract, and Detroit acquired RHP Francisco Rodriguez instead.
Soria is looking for a deal in the range of three years and $27 million, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN, and it’s possible Soria could sign as a closer on the market, making a marriage between the reliever and the Mets unlikely, writes Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.
Still, adding someone like Soria would give the Mets three right-handed pitchers in their bullpen capable of closing. That could be significant, as Familia was arguably overworked in his first season as the club’s closer, and having flexibility in the ninth inning would unquestionably allow them to spread the wealth as needed.
Soria, 31, was traded from the Tigers to the Pirates ahead of the trade deadline in 2015, meaning he is not tied to compensation in the 2016 draft. He was solid for the Tigers in 43 games before being traded, going 3-1 with a 2.85 ERA with 23 saves, allowing only 32 hits and 11 walks with 36 strikeouts in 41 innings. But as Mark Melancon’s setup man in Pittsburgh, Soria had a 2.03 ERA in 29 games, allowing only 23 hits and eight walks with 28 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings.
In addition to Soria, the Mets could consider Ryan Madson, Jonathan Broxton, and Trevor Cahill to fill their need.