Is Brad Hand the apple of the Mets eye?

The New York Mets rumors are heating up after Sandy Alderson’s public interest in current free agent reliever Brad Hand who was not claimed on waivers.

New Team President Sandy Alderson had shared some interesting statements regarding the New York Mets upcoming offseason on Tuesday afternoon during his multiple media appearances, and some of those statements have turned into legitimate Mets rumors within the blink of an eye. One of the most notable revelations that Alderson had made on Tuesday was regarding free-agent reliever Brad Hand.

Alderson had mentioned that the timing of Hand’s placement on waivers by the Cleveland Indians back on October 30th, as the main reason the organization was unable to claim the dominant reliever. Had the Mets claimed Hand directly off waivers a couple of weeks ago from the Indians he would’ve carried a $10 million price tag in 2021. However, Alderson did follow up on Hand’s status by stating, “We now can emphasize the acquisition, rather than the cost.”

Hand is the victim of wretched baseball economics in 2020 as the Cleveland Indians have begun unloading their higher-end contracts due to financial constraints. With Alderson beginning to fan the flames of this Mets rumor, it may be worth looking into the potential fit that Hand would have on the team’s roster.

Surely the Mets could use another dominant arm in their bullpen, especially one who can come in and pitch in the later innings of games. The Mets were already expected to be in the market for a left-handed reliever this offseason with fellow southpaw Justin Wilson hitting free agency, and now the organization has an opportunity to sign the left-handed throwing Hand who is widely regarded as one of the best relievers in baseball. Hand who was the American League saves leader in 2020, posted a glistening 2.05 ERA, and dominant 0.773 WHIP this past season for the Indians.

Since 2016, the 30-year old Hand has only had an ERA above three once and he has also made at least 60 appearances every season, outside of the abbreviated 2020 season. While Hand’s average fastball velocity seemed to take a bit of a dip this past season to 91.4 MPH, he still struck out almost 34% of the batters he faced and only walked 4% of the hitters he faced this season which was a career-best. There is still plenty left in the tank for the three-time All-Star reliever.

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After Sandy Alderson and Steve Cohen piece together their front office staff over the next several weeks, one of the major free-agent names that will be associated with many of the Mets rumors will be Brad Hand. With Alderson already expressing his affinity for Hand publicly, expect the Mets to make a serious play for the reliever this winter.

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