New York Mets: 5 reasons for optimism – Part 4 Revamped Bullpen

Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners. New York Mets. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners. New York Mets. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
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New York Mets
Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners. New York Mets. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Late Innings

A familiar face is back in somewhat of a different role. After being traded to the Athletics last July, former NYM closer Jeurys Familia was resigned as a free agent in the offseason. At only 28, he is third all-time in Mets history with 123 saves, which puts him ahead of Tug McGraw, Billy Wagner, and Jesse Orosco.

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Familia got a three year $30M contract, but this time around he will be the Amazins primary setup man.

His stuff is fantastic. Familia throws an above average fastball that he uses with a good sinker. Add his splitter to the mix and he’s hard to get a hit off of. It will be interesting to see how Familia handles the setup role. Of course, he can be the Mets closer again, should an injury happen to the current one.

The current one (closer) is Edwin “Sugar” Diaz. He was featured quite a bit in part one of this series. He brings a top-notch skill set and incredible composure to the job. Diaz throws smoke. I’d say fire, but the ball gets to the catcher so fast all you can see is the smoke. He may not reach 100 mph as much as Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, but Diaz is a better pitcher.

Adding him to the bullpen is Van Wagenen’s biggest acquisition. Last year he was the best closer in baseball. His 57 saves led the league. Sugar can top that in 2019 because he’s on a much better team. If there is one player that I can point my finger to and say he’ll be the biggest difference maker, its Diaz.

Next. Three thoughts on the Mets ahead of 2019. dark

This year’s improved bullpen has to be worth another half dozen or so wins on its own, which puts the New York Mets in contention for an NL East title.