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#pounditFriday, February 23, 2024

Mets linked to former Buck Showalter Orioles star

Buck Showalter in the dugout

Apr 8, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets manager Buck Showalter (11) walks the dugout during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets may be reaching into manager Buck Showalter’s bag of old connections.

The Mets are among the teams to have shown interest in free agent reliever Zack Britton, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported Tuesday. Britton, 35, is still unsigned after undergoing Tommy John surgery in Sept. 2021 then making just three pitching appearances since.

Once upon a time when he was on the Baltimore Orioles (managed at the time by Showalter), Britton was arguably the best reliever in baseball. He made back-to-back All-Star teams in 2015 and 2016 (leading the American League in saves and winning AL Reliever of the Year in that latter season). Over a three-year span for Baltimore dating back to 2014, Britton had a glowing 1.38 ERA with 120 saves in 128 total opportunities.

Since then however, age and injuries have obviously taken a huge chomp out of Britton’s effectiveness. But Showalter recently brought in another favorite of his from his Orioles years and now might be adding one more in Britton, a lefty arm who could complement a Mets bullpen currently full of righties.

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