There is one pitcher that stands out in the New York Mets’ wide offseason moves.
It is Brooks Rayleigh (34), a left-hander who played an active role as a key player in the Lotte Giants of the KBO League. Rayleigh recorded 48 wins and 53 losses and an average ERA of 4.13 over five seasons at Lotte from 2015 to 2019. The career high was in 2017, a season with 13 wins and 7 losses and an average ERA of 3.80.
He is remembered as a ‘legendary left-hander’ who put a total of 15 no hits against Lee Jung-hoo, who grew up as the KBO league MVP this year. At the time, Lee Jeong-hoo even said, “After facing Rayleigh, the feeling of hitting wandered around the floor for 7 to 10 games.”
He is highly anticipated as a member of the Mets’ winning team, which greatly strengthened the bullpen. Rayleigh, who played an active role as a starter in the KBO League, re-entered the major leagues and is drawing a new baseball life as a middle relief pitcher in his mid-30s.
He signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds in January 2020 and joined spring training. In July of that year, he was promoted to the major leagues, played four games, and was traded to the Houston Astros, opening an era of full-fledged relief success.
Rayleigh pitched in 58 games in 2021, going 2-3 with 10 holds, 2 saves and a 4.78 ERA. Later that year, he became a free agent and signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Tampa Bay Rays, and began to make his name as a full-fledged setup man. This year, he pitched in 60 relief games and threw 53⅔innings, recording 1 win, 2 losses, 25 holds, 6 saves, and a 2.68 ERA. He was tied for third in the American League hold division and became the strongest left-handed setup man.
On the 8th (Korean time), the Mets gave away minor league left-hander Sation Askew to Tampa Bay and brought in Rayleigh. The contract with Tampa Bay was transferred to the Mets as it is, and the annual salary for next year is $4.5 million, with a club option of $6.5 million in 2024. If it plays its role next season, the possibility of executing the option is very high. For a reliever with a 2-point ERA and 20-25 holds, $6.5 million is a very affordable price.
The Mets continue to invest in all positions, including starters, bullpen, and batting line, this offseason. Some aspects of the bullpen have also changed. Finisher Edwin Diaz, who became a free agent, was renewed for five years and $102 million, and right-hander David Robertson was acquired for one year and $10 million. And Rayleigh joined.
Diaz threw 62 innings in 61 games this year, recording 32 saves and a 1.31 ERA. It is evaluated as the strongest finish in existence. This is the reason why he was the first relief pitcher to be treated with more than 100 million dollars in total. With this, the Mets can use four players, Diaz, Robertson, Rayleigh, and Drew Smith, as their winning team. Among them, Rayleigh is the only left-hander.
This year, the batting average against left-handed hitters was 0.155 and against right-handed hitters was 0.208. He made a name for himself as a left-handed hitter last year as well, 안전놀이터 posting a batting average of 0.195 against lefties and 0.259 against righties.
The Mets have reorganized their starting lineup by recruiting Justin Verlander and Jose Quintana, and are showing interest in Carlos Rodon and Japanese Senga Godai among the remaining free agents. The owner of Steve Cohen, the richest man in the major leagues, is determined to build a championship. The Mets’ next year’s payroll is projected to exceed $320 million.