Joel Sherman of the New York Post takes a look at the sudden surplus of potentially available closers in major league baseball, a situation that certainly benefits the Mets considering their need to upgrade the bullpen this offseason.
Two free agent closers that seemed destined to retire with their 2008 teams, Trevor Hoffman and Kerry Wood, now appear to be more available than was expected in October. That pair, along with Francisco Rodriguez and Brian Fuentes, give the Mets and other teams several options in free agency.
Other relief pitchers with experience in the 9th inning have been recently mentioned in trade rumors. The list includes Huston Street, who may move again before the 2009 season begins, along with JJ Putz, Jose Valverde, and Bobby Jenks, mentions Sherman.
Sherman also provides a short list of teams, beyond the Mets, that may need a reliever with closing experience for 2009. The Texas Rangers, seemingly always short on pitching these days, may be a good fit for Kerry Wood; the Detroit Tigers, the St. Louis Cardinals, and most recently the Milwaukee Brewers, faced with the sudden retirement of Salomon Torres, are also in need of 9th inning help.
Sherman suggests Fuentes may be the favorite for the Mets’ closing job at this point.