The Mets had their shot at Darren O’Day back in 2009 when they selected him away from the Los Angeles Angels in the Rule 5 draft. They tried to pass him through waivers after only three innings, and the Texas Rangers quickly pounced. O’Day went to Texas, blossomed into a very good reliever, struggled, was released again, and then really blossomed into an All-Star reliever with the Orioles. The right-hander is in the conversation for best set-up man in the entire league.
With the exception of Jeurys Familia, the Mets bullpen was not very good in 2015. Tyler Clippard and Addison Reed helped to stabilize the bullpen, but Clippard is also a free agent. Reed was a big reclamation project for the Mets, and it’s unclear whether or not he can be counted on for a full season’s worth of pitching as good as the 1.17 ERA he gave the Mets in 17 appearances after coming over from the Arizona Diamondbacks. There’s a possible return of Jenrry Mejia that could help the bullpen out, but again, that’s not something the Mets can feel extremely good about.
O’Day is the best relief pitcher on the market, and nearly every contender will be after him. The Mets can afford to spend $24 million on O’Day over the next three years. If the bidding ratchets up and a fourth year becomes a requirement to land O’Day, the Mets should gracefully bow out of the pursuit.
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