Ever since the offseason started, the New York Mets waited until they had a president of baseball operations to start thinking about adding players outside of their existing roster. Once they decided that president Sandy Alderson was going to take over baseball decisions, they started kicking the tires on several players in the market.
The first one to sign was Trevor May, a 31-year-old relief pitcher that came from the Minnesota Twins. As it turns out, May had worked for years with current New York Mets’ pitching coach Jeremy Hefner when he was in Minneapolis.
Once the offseason started, May asked lots of questions to Hefner about the Mets, the city, and other related stuff. They talked about places for May to live and where he would fit with the Mets’ bullpen.
As May stated on Thursday during an introductory Zoom conference (per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo) Hefner was probably one of the most significant reasons why May decided to commit his future to the Mets after signing a two-year, $15.5 million deal. But there was another reason.
“To be honest, one of the biggest things was just kind of the buzz around Steve [Cohen] and the purchase of the team and the excitement of all the changes that are happening,” May said. “My immediate reaction was wanting to be a part of something like that.”
Mets’ pitching coach helped sell May the idea of joining New York
Hefner and May know each other since 2017, when the former was an advance scout. He helped May with his Tommy John surgery rehab, offering expertise as a TJ ‘survivor’ himself.
Hefner was one of the main drivers behind May’s resurgence in the Twins’ bullpen the last few years. He helped him increase his fastball velocity for three years in a row and use the pitch high in the zone.
“It was a lot of like, ‘Hey, this isn’t working. Why do you think that is?’” May recalled.
“He wasn’t living up to the expectation that he had for himself,” Hefner said Thursday morning in a telephone interview. “So taking the curveball away I think narrowed his focus, and he was able to go out with confidence with his three pitches and dominate.”
From the beginning, and thanks in part to Cohen’s arrival as the new owner, May liked the New York Mets as a potential destination. “In terms of [seriousness], I think the Mets were the most serious really quickly,” May said. “And then it was just kind of done.”
“I just had a huge smile on my face for hours,” May said. “I was just like, ‘This is where I’m meant to be.’ I was super excited about it. Just the feel and the atmosphere, it’s something that I’ve been developing myself, and I think this fits right into it.”