Mets looking to unload veteran arms ahead of spring training

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As Mets officials canvass the free-agent market for potential bullpen upgrades, they also are trying to quietly move pieces.

Most notably, the team has been shopping Jeurys Familia and Dellin Betances, according to an industry source, which would create roster flexibility while shedding big contracts. Familia is due $11.67 million in this final year of his contract. Betances is owed $6 million for this season.

The level of trade return the Mets receive for either reliever would correspond with how much they are willing to pick up on the remaining contracts.

Heading toward Wednesday’s report date for pitchers and catchers in Port St. Lucie, Fla., the Mets have an abundance of veteran bullpen arms in Edwin Diaz, Trevor May, Aaron Loup, Miguel Castro, Brad Brach and Robert Gsellman, in addition to Familia and Betances. Also, Seth Lugo could return to the bullpen after shifting to the rotation last year.

Justin Wilson, a free agent who spent the last two seasons with the Mets, could be of interest to team officials as they seek another left-hander to join Loup. There is also the possibility the Mets could pursue free agent Trevor Rosenthal.

Familia, after a disappointing 2019, rebounded last year and pitched to a 3.71 ERA in 25 appearances for the Mets. He was signed by the previous regime to a three-year contract worth $30 million. Betances was also signed during Brodie Van Wagenen’s GM tenure. He spent much of last year on the injured list after missing almost the entire 2019 season with the Yankees.

The Mets have been active on the trade front this winter, having acquired Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco from Cleveland for Andres Gimenez, Amed Rosario, Isaiah Greene and Josh Wolf. More recently, the Mets traded Steven Matz to Toronto for three minor league pitchers. One of those pitchers, Josh Winckowski, was traded to the Red Sox on Wednesday as part of a three-way deal that brought outfielder Khalil Lee from Kansas City. Lee was the Royals’ No. 8 prospect, according to MLB pipeline.

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