Depending on who you believe, the New York Mets are either very close to wrapping up a deal with former Cleveland Indians closer Brad Hand, or they are not really even in the running.
According to SNY, there’s been conflicting reports about Hand and whether he wants to make the move to the Big Apple.
Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic first reported that the two sides were “close” to getting a deal done, then he went back and said that the two sides were not close at all.
Correction: Mets engaged on Hand and in discussions, but two other sources say my initial report is inaccurate and the two sides are not close to a deal at this time. Mets have been interested in Hand since Indians declined his option.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 15, 2021
Hand is the best free agent reliever still on the market. Last season, he went 2-1 with a 2.05 ERA, putting up a MLB best 16 saves.
He was with the Indians the last two and a half seasons after Cleveland made a deal for his services with the San Diego Padres in the middle of the 2018 season.
Hand became Cleveland’s closer in 2019, and in his time with the Indians, he made 58 saves, going 8-6 with an impressive 2.78 ERA. However, Cleveland couldn’t afford Hand, and declined a player option for the 2021 season that would have paid him $10 million.
While Hand and the Mets are not close to getting a deal done, the two sides remain interested, according to reports.