The Mets have signed three right-handed relievers to minor league deals, according to their transactions tracker at MLB.com. Tommy Hunter, Sean Reid-Foley and Jimmy Yacabonis have joined the organization and will presumably be invited to major league Spring Training, though no formal announcement of that nature has been made.
Hunter is the oldest and most experienced of the bunch, as he’s currently 36 years old and has 494 MLB games under his belt. He has an even ERA of 4.00 thus far in his career, often succeeding with strong control. His career walk rate is 5.5%, well below this year’s MLB average for relievers of 9.1%. Outside of an injury-marred 2021, he’s never posted a rate higher than 6.9% in any single season. In 2022, he posted a 2.42 ERA but injuries limited him to just 22 1/3 innings. That’s been a recurring issue in recent years, as Hunter hasn’t reached 25 innings in a season since 2018.
Reid-Foley, 27, has pitched in the past five MLB seasons, the first three with the Blue Jays and the last three with the Mets. He came to New York from Toronto in the Steven Matz trade. He underwent Tommy John surgery in May and will miss at least part of the 2023 season. He was non-tendered by the Mets at the end of the season. He has a 4.66 ERA in 102 1/3 career innings, along with a 23.6% strikeout rate, 13.7% walk rate and 40.4% ground ball rate.
Yacabonis, 31 in March, put up an 8.36 ERA in 14 big league innings in 2022 but was much better in the minors. He tossed 33 2/3 innings down on the farm for various teams with a 3.21 ERA, 31.4% strikeout rate and 10.9% walk rate. He was outrighted by the Rays in November and elected free agency.
The Mets have a lot of work to do in rebuilding their bullpen as Adam Ottavino, Seth Lugo, Trevor Williams, Joely Rodriguez and Trevor May all hit free agency. Edwin Díaz was also in that group, though he was quickly re-signed. They will likely have more moves to come in bolstering the bullpen, but it’s understandable why they would look to add multiple depth options to the system.