The 2019 rendition of the New York Mets have showed just how volatile the sport of baseball can be. Over the course of May and June, the bullpen of the Mets seemed to be imploding the team, and that led to a 23-33 record over that span. Following the All-Star break however, the team started to catch fire against some lower opponents. All of a sudden, this team found itself being discussed as a wildcard team in the National League. Following that stretch, the Mets fell back to reality, and with an ugly walk-off loss to the Washington Nationals, it is officially desperation time in Queens.
The Mets don’t have many games left to make ground up if they are to in fact make the playoffs via the wildcard. There are several adjustments that this team needs to make if they want to get there. Naturally, the bullpen is the first part of this team that gets looked at when improvements are mentioned. The Brad Brach experiment has so far failed the Mets, as he has a 5.63 ERA over the eight innings that he has thrown for the team. You can’t blame the team for taking a risk on him, and they are even gearing up to take a risk on another veteran reliever that has faltered this season. Jeremy Jeffress has been released by the Milwaukee Brewers due to an unspectacular 2019 season. His difficulties are a shock, considering his success last season. During the 2018 season, Jeffress was selected to the All-Star game, and now he finds himself without a home as the MLB season quickly charges towards the finish line.
While the Mets are interested in the veteran and his services, there are some caveats to acquiring the reliever. The main one being that according to Mike Puma of the New York Post, Jeffress is attempting to secure a contract through the 2020 season. Someone doesn’t need a business degree to see that this might not be the most financially responsible decision that the Mets could make. Logic would advise against signing a player who has shown signs of decline, while also having two relievers on expensive contracts that are attached to two relievers through next season. The Mets certainly are desperate for relief at this point in the season, but they should not be desperate enough to make decisions that aren’t responsible for their future.
Should Jeffress want to treat the remainder of the season like an audition for next year, then it might be worth a shot to bring him on. Nothing of his 2019 season warrants him to be deserving of a contract for next season unless he shows improvement. His 5.02 season ERA is ugly, just like the ERAs of Jeurys Familia and Edwin Diaz. The Brach experiment has so far failed for the Mets, but Jeffress might be worth the risk considering his more recent success in the past. To give him a contract into next season would be silly however, considering the Mets will need to spend considerable cash to overhaul the team’s weakest link.