Great News: Mets are bringing him back after………

How Mets still could reinforce lineup — if they're only bluffing

NEW YORK (AP) — Relief pitcher Jorge López and the New York Mets finalized their $2 million, one-year contract on Thursday.

López gives the Mets another experienced arm as they rebuild their bullpen depth with low-cost castoffs.

The right-hander pitched for three playoff teams last season, going 6-2 with a 5.95 ERA and three saves in 61 relief appearances for Minnesota, Miami and Baltimore.

López, who turns 31 in February, moved exclusively to the bullpen in 2022 and was a dominant closer for the Orioles during four breakout months that earned him an All-Star selection. Baltimore traded him to the Twins in early August that year and he finished 4-7 with a 2.54 ERA and 23 saves in 67 games.

Besides that, he’s mostly struggled in eight major league seasons. López is 22-40 with a 5.51 ERA and 27 saves in 230 games, including 58 starts, for Milwaukee, Kansas City, Baltimore, Minnesota and Miami. He pitched for the Brewers when their general manager was David Stearns, the Mets’ new president of baseball operations.

López could earn a prominent role in a Mets bullpen with holes to fill behind star closer Edwin Díaz and lefty Brooks Raley. Right-handers Drew Smith and Phil Bickford return, and Stearns also signed free agents Austin Adams and Michael Tonkin to big league contracts this fall.

New York relievers ranked 22nd in the majors with a 4.45 ERA last season.

López was traded from the Twins to the Marlins in late July, then claimed off waivers by Baltimore on Sept. 2. Ineligible for the postseason roster because he didn’t rejoin the organization until September, he was assigned outright to Triple-A Norfolk by the AL East champion Orioles in early October and chose to become a free agent instead.

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