Mets add lowkey bullpen arm Brooks Raley via trade

Brooks Raley, mets
Sep 22, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Brooks Raley (30) throws a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays in the sixth inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets keep adding to their bullpen. They have made a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays for left-handed relief pitcher, Brooks Raley. In return, the Mets parted with left-handed pitching prospect, Keyshawn Askew.

Askew was a 10th-round pick made by the Mets in the 2021 MLB draft. He turns 23 in January and was coming off of a great year in which he posted a 2.44 ERA.

From the Mets’ point of view, though, at this point in time, they need immediate improvements made for their World Series hopes now.

Getting to know Mets’ new reliever Brooks Raley:

Raley is 33 and turns 34 in the middle of next season, in late June. He has five years of MLB experience (2012-13, 2020-present). He spent his first two years with the Chicago Cubs. Over the last three years, Raley has been with the Cincinnati Reds (2020), Houston Astros (2020-21), and the Rays all of last year. Raley spent five years (2015-19) playing in the Korean Leagues.

Raley has 153 games of MLB experience, most of them coming in the last two years (118 games). He is coming off of, by far, his best year in the major leagues. In 60 appearances for the Rays, Raley recorded a terrific 2.68 ERA. He concluded the year with a 1-2 record. Raley pitched 53.2 innings and had an impressive 61 strikeouts. His WHIP was magnificent as well, posting an 0.97. In 2021, Raley recorded 61 punchouts over 49 innings pitched, appearing in 58 games.

He offers some height on the mound at 6-foot-3. The left-hander is well-known for his slider.

Likely the main proponent from the Mets’ standpoint in making this move was having a bullpen arm who can shut down lefties, which Raley proved to do awfully well in 2022. Raley held left-handed bats to a low .155 batting average and a .483 OPS. He also limited right-handed hitters to a .208 batting average.

In terms of financials, Raley will make $4.5 million in 2023. On his contract, he has a club option for 2024 worth $6.5 million.

The Mets needed to add a player of Raley’s caliber to their bullpen. While losing a young prospect with such upside like an Askew is tough, at the end of the day, the Mets, with their World Series expectations, need proven commodities right now. Raley provides them with just that. To add him in front of Edwin Diaz gives the Mets a good starting point with regard to their relief pitching for this offseason.