New York Mets keep collecting high-upside relievers

The Hot Stove in the league has been more like the Cold Stove these days. We are already into December and the big fish in free agency, namely Trevor Bauer, George Springer, J.T. Realmuto, and company, are still unsigned. We have only seen a couple of trades and high-profile signings, but the real action is yet to happen. The New York Mets are after starting pitching, a catcher, a center fielder, and some relief help.

They have been taking care of the bullpen in the last few days. Not only they signed one of the top relievers in the market in Trevor May, but they also added some high-upside options in Sam McWilliams, Jared Robinson, and Jacob Barnes. And now, the New York Mets made yet another move along those lines.

According to SNY’s Andy Martino, the Mets signed right-handed pitcher Trevor Hildenberger to a minor league contract. The righty’s most recent season in the major leagues was in 2019 with the Minnesota Twins, and he didn’t play a game this year despite being in the Boston Red Sox organization.

The Mets are looking for some upside

In that 2019 campaign, Hildenberger had a ghastly 10.47 ERA, a 2.27 WHIP, and 15/7 K/BB ratio in 16 1/3 innings out of the Twins’ bullpen. However, while he wasn’t good, he was also unlucky, as he had a career-low 56.5 strand rate (his career number is a much more palatable 66.9) and his FIP and xFIP were 4.81 and 5.28, respectively.

Hildenberger is yet another Jeremy Hefner alum. The current Mets’ pitching coach helped secure the May signing and could do the same for the team with starter Jake Odorizzi, trying to lure him to Queens.

With the help of Hefner, Hildenberger had a fantastic debut season in 2017, with a 3.21 ERA, a 3.01 FIP, and a 2.92 xFIP in 42 innings. In that campaign, the righty had a 9.43 K/9 and a 1.29 BB/9. He was flat-out dominant, and the Mets are hoping that he can recapture at least some of that form.