The Mets lost out on Hand to the Nats, reportedly because of the role Hand would get with the Mets. Although Hand is obviously the better arm, Aaron Loup is the better fit for this team.
Hand is a closer. He was a very successful closer for the Indians in recent years. Logical that Hand wanted that role and the Mets didn’t give it to him. Not only because the Mets have Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo and Trevor May, who could all close. And not to forgot a healthy Betances?
The Mets had all righties in the pen before the Mets added Loup. The clear need for a lefty was big. The role that lefty would and should get, was getting the spots to face lefties. If you got Hand, and he would close, all those spots earlier in the game, he wouldn’t come in. The would save Hand for a save opportunity. That’s not what I want from my only lefty in the pen.
With Loup you can pick your spots, you can look at the lineup and see ” This is when I want my lefty to come in”. The pen is a much more flexible with having a true lefty, who you can use in every part of the game.
Loup doesn’t allow any homeruns against lefties, which is obviously a great thing to have in your pen of righties. He held lefties to a .581 OPS, which is absolutely great.
This is the type the Mets needed in the pen. You still have Diaz, Lugo and May for the back end of the pen to get the final outs. I really like this move as it wouldn’t cost a ton.