Mets sign Jorge Lopez to 1-year deal to strengthen bullpen

Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jorge Lopez (21) pitches against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets have added to their bullpen with their most recent offseason acquisition of veteran righty Jorge Lopez according to reports.

Mets: Lopez Brings a Veteran Presence to Bullpen

Dan Martin of the New York Post shared information on the signing, and how it reunites Lopez with Mets general manager David Stearns, the same manager who drafted him in 2015.

The eight-year veteran is coming off of a 2023 campaign that saw him record three saves across 61 games played with a 5.95 ERA and 1.508 WHIP.

Lopez has only enjoyed one season with a sub-4.50 ERA in his career dating back to 2022. Lopez was named an MLB All-Star that year behind a 2.54 ERA and 3.75 win percentage as he struck out 72 batters in 71 innings pitched and secured a career-high 23 saves as a member of the Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles.

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Mets in Need of Talent on the Mound and Stars That Can Maintain Leads Late in Games

The Mets are hoping that their bullpen can improve upon their woeful showing this past season. The Mets finished with 34 saves on the year which was sixth-fewest among all teams in the MLB. They also generated the fewest save opportunities with 52.

Lopez is one of the biggest moves the Mets have made thus far in a quiet early offseason. He marks the fourth addition to the bullpen including fellow RHP Michael Tonkin. With featured closer Adam Ottavino hitting the free agent market, Lopez may fill his shoes in 2024. At 30 years of age, the Mets are hoping Lopez can give them production that rivals his performance in 2022.

The Mets are tied to several big-named free agents including Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto and could use additional help at the plate to build and maintain leads late in games that Lopez and the closing staff can bring home.