Free-agent reliever Zack Britton is drawing interest from the New York Mets, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post.
Britton put together some of his best seasons with Buck Showalter managing the Baltimore Orioles and also has a good relationship with new bullpen coach Dom Chiti, Heyman added.
Showalter managed the Orioles from 2010-18. Britton pitched for the franchise from 2011 until he was traded to the New York Yankees during the 2018 season.
Since making the move to the bullpen in 2014, Britton has been one of the best relievers in baseball when healthy.
During the 2015 and 2016 seasons under Showalter, he earned back-to-back All-Star Game selections after posting a 1.22 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 153 strikeouts in 132.2 innings, in addition to 83 saves.
Britton has spent the last four and a half seasons with the Yankees. During the 2019 and 2020 seasons, he posted a 1.90 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 69 strikeouts in 80.1 innings across 86 appearances. He also posted 11 saves.
However, the lefty only appeared in four games for the Pinstripes in 2021. He suffered an elbow injury in spring training and tossed just 18.1 innings, posting a 5.89 ERA, 1.69 WHIP and 16 strikeouts, before undergoing Tommy John surgery to end his season.
When Britton returned in 2022, he struggled mightily in the only three games he appeared in before the Yankees put him back on the injured list with shoulder fatigue, which ended his season.
Given his recent injury history, the Mets would be taking somewhat of a gamble on Britton. However, the team could use another lefty in its bullpen, as the only southpaw relievers on the roster are Brooks Raley, Tayler Saucedo and Zach Muckenhirn.
Muckenhirn has no MLB experience, and Saucedo has just 28.1 innings pitched in the big leagues. Raley, meanwhile, has appeared in 153 games across his five-year career and posted a 4.64 ERA and nine saves. He was traded to the Mets from the Tampa Bay Rays in December after posting a career-best 2.68 ERA across 60 appearances.
That said, New York's main relievers in 2023 will be Adam Ottavino, David Robertson and closer Edwin Díaz.