Mack Ade - Addison Reed


Ya know, if you ask 100 Mets fans how pitcher Addison Reed became a Met, at least 90 of them would tell you via free agency.

It simply isn’t true.

On August 30, 2015, the Mets traded Matt Koch and Miller Diaz to the Arizona Diamondbacks for the then 26-year old Reed. How did that work out?

Koch finally made it to the majors in 2016 where he went 1-1, 2.00, 0.72, 7-G, 2-starts, 18-IP, 10-K. Diaz still is pitching at the AA level, though he did have some decent success at that level last season (17-relief appearances, 2.82).

But all this pales at the success that Reed has brought to the Mets. He pitched in 17 games for the Mets in 2015 and posted a 1.17-ERA. He followed this last season with 80 appearances and a stat line of 1.97, 0.94.

Rylan Edwards, of Rotographs, wrote an article in October 216 about the top relievers in baseball and had Reed on the top portion of the list –

Addison Reed seems to have figured something out, posting career bests in both K/9 and BB/9. He induced hitters to chase more often than at any point in his career and Reed’s first-pitch strike rate ranked third among qualified relievers. With improvements like those, I can overlook some of the good fortune he experienced with respect to strand rate and HR/FB%.

         Former Mack’s Mets writer, Jack Flynn, who has re-joined the site this week, had this spin –

            Forget about Matt Harvey and how his recovery from thoracic outlet syndrome will go. Forget about Zack Wheeler and the very real possibility that Tommy John surgery has robbed him of the chance to ever be a productive major league pitcher.

The most compelling comeback story in Flushing for 2017 is that of Addision Reed – and if he can sustain the magic that has transformed him from a failed closer into an elite set-up man.

It’s easy to forget that Reed came to the Mets as an afterthought – a late August 2015 transaction that went relatively unnoticed given the expectations that New York had for him. The Mets didn’t expect Reed to replicate his performance during his first three full years in the big leagues, when he saved over 100 games. They simply hoped he would be one of the bridges from their emerging young starters to their fully emerged closer Jeurys Familia.
Reed did just that over the last month of the 2015 season and through the Mets’ unexpected run to a National League pennant. Despite being lit up in the final game of the World Series, Reed emerged as a dominant set-up man in 2016, putting up the best single-season ERA and WHIP of his career.
Was it the move to a less pressure-filled role that allowed Reed to blossom? Was it the gradual transformation from a fly ball pitcher to a ground ball pitcher that began while Reed was in Arizona? Or is it simply a matter of a young man fully harnessing his talent as he matured into life as a professional baseball player?

The Mets may not even know the answer – and they very likely do not care. Reed will likely be given a chance to close if and when Familia misses time to begin the 2017 season as a result of an off-season domestic violence dispute. Reed has a closer’s pedigree, which sets him apart from the rest of the Mets’ bullpen right now.

Another factor to consider is Reed’s impending free agent status (the Mets control him only through 2017). Closers get paid more than set-up men – and Reed must know that the more time he spends in the eighth inning means the less money he will be spending over the next three to five years. Will Reed be able to ignore that and put in another dominant campaign for the Orange and Blue? Or will the desire to maximize every dollar in free agency become a distraction that affects his performance?

Reed’s ability to hold down the closer role in Familia’s absence – and then slip seamlessly back into the set-up role he was so successful in last year – will go a long way toward determining of the Mets can challenge Washington in the NL East this year. It will also go a long way toward determining him how the Mets – and the rest of the major leagues – will view him in 2018 and beyond.
And Reed is far from being over the hill. He will pitch 2017 as a 28-year old and we all know that relievers can last in this game far longer than starters. He is scheduled for free agency in 2018 and I can’t imagine the Mets finding a better pitcher to handle the 8th inning than Reed would in 2018 and 2019.

Opinion: Why is it that teams in general and the Mets in particular just don’t commit long term money to good relievers? You need at least seven of these guys on your 25-man squad and three of them better be shut down fireballers.
I never understood why a team has no problem keeping a kid through his arbitration years, but won’t invest money past that if he developed into a premium player at the position he is playing. It has to be money, right?

Two good things have happened this past week to strengthen the pen. 

The re-signing of Fernando Salas and Jerry Blevens will help set up a 6th-7th-8th-9th inning back-end bullpen of Blevens-Salas-Hansel Robles-Reed until Jeurys Familia returns from his impending suspension.

As for Reed, lock this guy down through the 2019 season and pray that Jenrry Mejia can return someday to join Reed and Jeurys Famila as a killer back end bullpen.


Unknown said...

On teh Jenry Mejia thing. There must be something I don't understand about lifetime ban.

Tom Brennan said...

Jennry who? Anyone dumb enough to put himself in a position to be banned for "life" really can't be counted on if reinstated.

Addison Reed has been a super pen pick up. He has been great and his 2017 greatness level will be huge in determining how far this team goes.

I am hopeful we'll see the real Harvey again. As for Wheeler. We need to remember Zach was pitching for a long time with a troubled elbow that could have impacted his performance. If he is really fixed now, could he not be BETTER than before?

Mack Ade said...

Richard -

Like the NFL 'lifetime ban', they all have wiggle room. I believe that baseball's version Mejia is the first professional baseball player to be banned 'for life' for drug abuse.

He could appeal after one year, he could be reinstated after 2 years. There is; however, a good chance that will be turned down and he will never pitch again.

bill metsiac said...

I know I'm repeating myself, but I noted a glaring omission in the pen forecast above and want to remind the group that we've got a kid who can throw 100mph and is ready to blossom.

Keep your eyes on future closer (hopefully here) Hansel Robles.

Eddie Corona said...

you guys are gonna love /hate this...
But should we trade Reed at the trade deadline (and I probably wouldn't) ..
But if you look at what came from the Andrew Miller deal or the Chapman deal, If Reed is having the same year as in 2016 would we not be crazy not to deal him if we are going to lose him for nothing (Since the Qualifying offer is not longer in play)....

Mack Ade said...

Bill -

I clearly mentioned Robles at the end of the post -

"The re-signing of Fernando Salas and Jerry Blevens will help set up a 6th-7th-8th-9th inning back-end bullpen of Blevens-Salas-Hansel Robles-Reed until Jeurys Familia returns from his impending suspension."

Mack Ade said...

Eddie -

Every player that is playing in the last year he is under contract is subject to these kind of trades.

Al this depends on how the other pen pitchers do, the progess of the weanies in AAA, and whether the Mets are in the race.

Eddie Corona said...

I thought about this last year but it is really a hard decision... We need him to contend but we could totally have a huge haul in the right deal...
Praying maybe Wheeler makes this deal possible...

bill metsiac said...

Sorry, Mack, I missed that. Do you agree with my assessment of him? I see potential for greatness there if he can avoid the walks and HRs that have held him back.

Mack Ade said...

Bill -

I have always been high on the potential of Robles. He has all the skills, but very little control on his speed.

If he tones it down a couple of clicks and hits the box more, he will be a great reliever

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