The New York Mets, while not dealing with Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, have decided to set their focus on improving their bullpen. Their target, per reports, is Cleveland Indians set-up man Vinnie Pestano.
Citing sources, ESPN’s Adam Rubin reports that the Mets covet the 27-year-old righty. The Mets pursued 36-year-old right-hander Joel Peralta, but have found the asking price too high. Peralta signed with Tampa Bay at $3 million per season through 2014, then has a series of team options. Pestano is still under club control and remains as one of the best bullpen bargains in the game.
Through 70 appearances in 2012, Pestano went 3-3 with a 2.57 ERA, striking out 76. His per-nine inning numbers were undoubtedly inflated by an October that saw the reliever allow five hits – two of them solo home runs — in just an inning and two-thirds. On the season, Pestano held right-handed batters to an OPS of .487.
From a trade perspective, the Indians have long been rumored to be interested in shopping closer Chris Perez who will be due a substantial amount in arbitration. Pestano, in this instance, would be assumed to step into the closer role.
[Related: Tribe At The Winter Meetings: Will They Add, Or Blow It Up?]