Mets unlikely to trade for relief help

August 24th, 2016
Mets GM Sandy Alderson has been looking for a righty reliever on the trade market. (AP)

ST. LOUIS -- If the Mets' scuffling bullpen is to improve down the stretch, the club will need it to improve from within. The team is no longer seriously pursuing bullpen arms from outside the organization, according to a person with knowledge of the club's thinking.

While the Mets have spent months scouring the market for right-handed relief pitchers, they wound up focusing their non-waiver Trade Deadline efforts on outfielder and lefty pitcher , instead. Shortly after that Deadline passed, the Mets spoke publicly about their interest in a right-handed reliever, spending the next few weeks looking into that market.

But it has been fruitless. While options do still exist, from Philadelphia's and , to Milwaukee's and others, the Mets have found most of them either too expensive or too little of an upgrade over what they have in-house.

Waiver trades are allowed in September, but players acquired at that time are not eligible for postseason rosters, and thus relatively useless to contending clubs. As such, Aug. 31 has become a second de facto Trade Deadline for teams.

While the Mets' bullpen has struggled to the tune of a 5.89 August ERA entering Tuesday, the team attributes that more to heavy usage -- New York's starting pitchers have not been going deep into games -- than anything else. The Mets did receive a boost over the weekend when came off the DL, though the veteran reliever has yet to appear in a game.

Henderson, , , and will form the core of New York's bullpen in September.