The Mets continue making the big moves of MLB’s delayed free agency, inking veteran reliever Adam Ottavino to a one-year, $4 million deal, per multiple reports.
A Brooklyn, NY native, Ottavino joins the Mets after a 2021 season with the Boston Red Sox in which he struck out 71 batters over 62 innings with a 4.21 ERA — this after two seasons with the crosstown-rival Yankees.
The 36-year-old parlayed a successful stint with the Colorado Rockies, posting a 3.12 ERA with 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings from 2013-2018, to a three-year, $27 million deal with the Yankees.
After a strong 2019 in which he posted a 1.90 ERA, Ottavino struggled in the shortened 2020 season, allowing 12 earned runs in just 18.1 innings of work. That was all the Yankees needed to see from him, striking a deal with the division-rival Red Sox where he rebounded into a serviceable late-inning option that added 11 saves to his ledger over 69 appearances.
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The Mets were in need of additional bullpen help after their best reliever last season, Aaron Loup, signed with the Los Angeles Angels in free agency before the lockout. Long-time bullpen option Jeurys Familia also officially departed on Saturday, signing with the Philadelphia Phillies.
With Edwin Diaz still slated as the team’s closer, Ottavino should get a look as a seventh or eighth-inning option alongside Trevor May, Seth Lugo, and Miguel Castro.
Ottavino’s acquisition comes shortly after Mets acquired starting pitcher Chris Bassitt from the Oakland Athletics — another pitching need that New York was able to check off its list. This as owner Steve Cohen revealed that his team will “probably” go over the fourth tier of luxury tax punishments, which is currently set at a $290 million payroll. Ottavino’s deal puts the Mets currently at a projected payroll of $276 million, per Fangraphs, with the team still wanting to add another bat to the lineup.