Mets sign bullpen arm to bolster depth

syndication: arizona republic, cole sulser, mets
Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Mets are entering the offseason following one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history that saw the blue and orange go from World Series contenders to finishing 75-87.

One of the key reasons for the Mets’ struggles was how poorly their bullpen performed.

The blue and orange had a bullpen with a 4.45 team ERA, the 8th highest in the majors and have already lost multiple of their better relievers, including set-up man Adam Ottavino, to free agency.

With no prospect expected to fill the void in 2024, Steve Cohen and the company will likely have to turn to free agency to improve the bullpen and have made their first move.

The Mets sign Cole Sulser to a minor-league contract.

The Mets announced they had signed Cole Sulser to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training on Monday.

Sulser pitched for five years at Dartmouth College before entering the draft and being selected in the 25th round by the Cleveland Indians.

The California native spent five years working up Cleveland’s minor league system before being shipped to Tampa Bay in a three-team trade.

Sulser made his Major League debut in 2019 with the Rays and impressed in his brief stint, recording a 0.00 ERA in 7.1 innings with nine strikeouts across seven appearances.

Despite his success, the right-hander got designated for assignment to make room for Yandy Diaz and was picked up off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles.

Sulser struggled during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, pitching 22.2 innings across 19 appearances to a 5.56 ERA while striking out 19.

The California native turned it around in 2021, becoming one of the Orioles’ better relievers. Sulser pitched 63.1 innings across 60 appearances to an impressive 2.70 ERA while striking out a career-high 73 batters.

Sulser got shipped back to the Sunshine State the following offseason, this time settling in Miami, where he struggled.

The right-hander pitched just 34 innings across 39 appearances to a 5.29 ERA before being designated for assignment. 

The Arizona Diamondbacks picked him up to start the 2023 campaign, but the 33-year-old only made four appearances before landing on the injured list with a right shoulder strain.

The Diamondbacks would designate Sulser for assignment in July, and he was claimed by the Rays, where he was kept on optional assignment before being granted free agency following the end of the season.

This is a low-risk, high-reward situation for the blue and orange as the Mets hope Sulser can revitalize his career in Queens and become a valuable piece in their bullpen.

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