August 5, 2021

Mets’ conundrum in making Josh Hader splash (New York Post)

Brodie Van Wagenen flew into Las Vegas for last year’s Winter Meetings with the exhilaration still palpable over the blockbuster deal he had completed less than a week earlier with the Mariners.

The rookie Mets general manager thought he had fortified the bullpen by landing an elite closer in Edwin Diaz, and he produced another surprise, albeit on a smaller scale, by agreeing to a three-year contract worth $30 million with Jeurys Familia on the final night of the meetings, bringing the right-hander back in a setup role.

So the Mets were set at the back end of the bullpen, right? Not exactly.

Twelve months later, Van Wagenen is again heading west, this time to San Diego, with a bullpen headache that hasn’t subsided. This after a season in which Diaz couldn’t keep the ball in the park and Familia morphed into one of baseball’s worst relievers.

The Mets will need both of them to rebound in 2020, but just sitting and praying for results might not be the most prudent approach.

“I think the bullpen needs a lot,” a National League talent evaluator said. “But I also think Diaz is going to be OK. It’s just one of those things — his arm was good, he was throwing…

Read “Mets’ conundrum in making Josh Hader splash” at New York Post