Yankees Rumors: Mets looking to pluck beloved Yanks reliever is becoming overkill

Ok, this is becoming a meme.
Milwaukee Brewers v New York Yankees
Milwaukee Brewers v New York Yankees / New York Yankees/GettyImages

The New York Mets, in their quest to move forward under David Stearns, cannot stop staring across town at the rival Yankees.

While the Mets' first two familiar moves of the offseason involved Yankees who'd worn out their welcome in the Bronx and are looking to bounce back, their third rumored addition (fourth if you count a reunion with Adam Ottavino!) would both sting the most and trip into the uncanny valley where it kind of seems like the Mets are just running down a list of old Yankees for shock value.

With precious few bullpen options still available if the Yankees want veteran help, it seems like the Mets might make their choice between Keynan Middleton and Wandy Peralta a little easier.

That Team in Flushing is reportedly targeting Peralta. While it's true the trusted lefty posted a sub-3.00 ERA in his three seasons in the Bronx, that doesn't tell the whole story of where he's trending.

Wandy Peralta could become latest free agent to leap from Mets to Yankees

Following Hector Neris' one-year, $9 million deal with the Cubs, the relief market isn't exactly overflowing with cash for its valued contributors. Peralta, at this point, can probably expect a multi-year pact that adds up to that $9 million, and Middleton may come even cheaper.

While Peralta provides surplus value in the clubhouse with his antics, metrics indicate he narrowly avoided significant regression in 2023. While that could've been due to the triceps injury that sidelined him at the end of the season, it's worth noting that his escalating walk rate resulted in a 5.05 FIP, a far cry from his 2.83 ERA and highly inconsistent with his performance in previous years.

Is Peralta, on the verge of his 33rd birthday, finally hitting a wall ahead of a potential multi-year deal? Or was this an injury-fueled blip? It seems like that might be the Mets' information to find out, which would be appropriate after they already opted to serve as Luis Severino's bounce back stop and Harrison Bader's pillow provider.