The Mets are close to signing free-agent lefty Chasen Shreve to a minor league contract, tweets MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo. It’d be the second Mets stint for Shreve, who spent the 2020 campaign pitching in Queens as well.
Now 31, he has pitched in the past eight MLB seasons, seeing some time with the Braves, Yankees, Cardinals and Pirates, in addition to the Mets. He’s played 292 games in his career, logging 285 innings, with a 3.63 ERA. His 25.6% strikeout rate is a few ticks above average, but so is his 11.6% walk rate.
Spending last year with the Pirates, Shreve had an outlier season for him. His strikeout rate dropped to 19.1%, yet he still managed to get good results, as evidenced by his 3.20 ERA. That was largely driven by a .234 batting average on balls in play, leading advanced metrics to rank his work in less favorable light. (3.87 xERA, 4.73 FIP, 4.93 SIERA, 5.15 xFIP) However, looking at Shreve’s Statcast page, he threw his slider more at the expense of his fastball and did a good job at limiting hard contact, perhaps suggesting that it wasn’t just pure luck that kept his ERA low.
The Mets, despite a wild offseason, have a clear lack of lefties in the bullpen. There’s no one on the 40-man roster at the moment who’s likely to fill a regular relief role. However, they have signed Alex Claudio, Mike Montgomery and now Shreve to compete for a job, or perhaps jobs, as the southpaw element of the club’s relief corps. Shreve did fare better against lefties (.200/.288/.344) but wasn’t awful against righties (.221/.321/.398) last year.