New York Mets: Former Yankees can help Amazins in 2020

Brett Gardner, New York Yankees. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Brett Gardner, New York Yankees. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

As the New York Mets build their 2020 roster, they still have some holes to fill. There are a few free agents from the crosstown Yankees who can help.

The New York Mets made great strides toward becoming a playoff contender in 2019. They came within three games of the postseason. Needless to say, the team has some upgrades to make as well as gaps to fill. Last year, the bullpen was a horror show. There is a need for both a fifth starter and a centerfielder. General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen is on the lookout to fill these areas as well as some minor roles.

Looking over the current free-agent market there are some players who spent the past few years in the Bronx that might be just what the New York Mets need. While Yankees GM Brian Cashman is big game hunting, BVW can swoop in and make some key additions. A big advantage of signing with the Amazins over an out of town team is that no relocation is required.

Dellin Betances

On its face, signing Dellin Betances might not seem like a good idea. He missed the majority of 2019 recovering from a shoulder injury. He did return to action in mid-September but it was short-lived. Betances faced two Toronto batters on September 15, striking out both. Unfortunately, he landed awkwardly on a follow-through and partially tore his left Achilles.

Jeurys Familia was a miserable failure in a setup role last year. A four-time All-Star as a setup man, Betances could be the right guy to bridge the gap from the starters to closer Edwin Diaz. Judging by his brief return Betances’ arm is sound. It’s the Achillies that is the unknown. The 31-year-old has a career ERA of 2.36 over 358 appearances. In addition, he has 621 strikeouts in 381.2 innings.

Austin Romine

In case anyone forgot, Mets co-ace Noah Syndergaard doesn’t like working with catcher Wilson Ramos. The numbers bear it out. Thor had an ERA over five with Ramos as his catcher.

Conversely, in the 10 games with Tomas Nido as his backstop, Syndergaard’s ERA was 2.45. His biggest drawback about Nido is that he is a .189 career hitter. When he plays, the lineup suffers.

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Why not bring in Austin Romine? He’s generally recognized as the best backup catcher in the majors. When starter Gary Sanchez was injured or had a day off the past three seasons, Romine was able to hold his own both at and behind the plate. With a carer OPS of .647, he isn’t an everyday player but is a big improvement over Nido.

Brett Gardner

Just a quick hit on Brett Gardner. He had a career power year in 2019 with 29 home runs and 74 RBI. At 37-years old, his big-money days are behind him, but if he were to take a lesser role for a reasonable salary, the Mets would be crazy to pass on him. Then again, under those terms, he probably goes back to the Yankees.

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