Forget the meltdown he had in Game 2 of the Wild Card series against the Yankees. Brad Hand is, arguably, the top left-handed reliever available in the market. As such, he has drawn interest from many clubs, and the last one to join the list are, of course, the New York Mets.
The Mets are seeking relief help since there is still some uncertainty regarding Seth Lugo’s role. The team brought elite righty Trevor May and lots of upside plays, but if they are able to secure Hand, the unit could be one of the best in the league on paper.
The Mets’ bullpen could really use a reliable lefty, since there aren’t many on the roster. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Mets have shown interest in Hand, who became a free agent after the Cleveland Indians declined to pick up his $10 million option for 2021 in a clear cost-cutting move.
The Mets have competition
The southpaw has been linked with other top clubs since the Indians let him go. The Toronto Blue Jays (like the Mets, they have been associated with virtually every major free agent available) and the Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly interested.
Clubs are in on the lefty because of his excellent 2020 season (he had a brilliant 2.05 ERA, a 0.77 WHIP, and a 29/4 K/BB ratio over 22 innings while also leading all of MLB in saves with 16, with no blown opportunities) and the fact that he is still in the prime of his career, at 30 years old.
For the Mets, it makes all the sense in the world to pair Hand with top closer Edwin Diaz. If Lugo returns to relief duties, the team could have a fearsome foursome of Diaz, Hand, Lugo, and May.
Only time will tell if the New York Mets make a move and bring Hand into the fold. But as far as free agents go, he makes all the sense in the world.