“There is a sense, a real sense, that the Mets are now operating as a
mid-market club, unwilling or unable to dive in to attract the best that
money can buy, even if they most assuredly did lavish a $137.5 million
guaranteed contract on Johan Santana a couple of winters ago.”
— Larry Brooks, New York Post, disparaging the Mets for — as best as I can tell — not being interesting enough for the tabloids to write about.
When LeBron James picks the Heat tonight, don’t think for a minute that avoiding getting savaged in the press for no good reason didn’t have something to do with it.
The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.
Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.
While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.