David Robertson, Jose Quintana, Brooks Raley excited to join Mets: 'What a squad'

Sep 25, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher David Robertson (30) throws a pitch against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park.
Sep 25, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher David Robertson (30) throws a pitch against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Last week was a very busy one for the Mets, as GM Billy Eppler and the front office added a handful of players in the hopes of getting the team back to the postseason in 2023. The week started with a bang as Justin Verlander agreed to a deal, and the back half of the week included the Mets adding important pieces in starter Jose Quintana and relievers David Robertson and Brooks Raley.

That trio of new Mets was officially introduced on Wednesday via a Zoom conference call with Eppler, and all three expressed their excitement to join the club in hopes of helping the team make another step towards winning a World Series.

“I’m very excited. I mean, what a squad that Billy’s put together,” said Robertson, who added that he doesn't care when he's asked to pitch out of the pen. “It’s going to be nice to play with Jose again, and I have a lot of new teammates to meet, a lot of guys I’ve been playing against for a long time and now I finally get to join up with them and get to go at it for a full season and hopefully into the postseason. That’s the goal of this squad. I think that’s the goal of any team.”

“I’m really excited to join the team,” added Raley, who was acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. “… Really excited about joining the fold and the back end of the bullpen and whatever role that kind of expands into as the season progresses, but really excited about wearing the Mets uniform.”

And as for Quintana, signing with the Mets is a full-circle moment for the 33-year-old, as he was originally signed by the Mets as an international free agent out of Colombia in 2006.

“Thank you, Billy, thank you to the Mets organization for giving me this opportunity, where everything started for me as a kid, so that’s really a special moment for me and my family,” said the southpaw.

Robertson, Quintana and Raley join a team that obviously has high expectations – both internally and externally – for the 2023 season. Coming off a year in which the Mets won 101 games, the trio is ready to be part of what should be a great race in the NL East.

“I think the NL East as a whole has gotten a lot better,” said Raley. “I mean the Phillies proved that this past season, the Braves and this division, I think you have to go reloaded if you really want to compete. Coming from the AL East, I think it’s very similar and it’s part of the sport now that the best plays, the contracts are obviously fruitful, but I think the team that’s been put together here is special and I’m looking forward to seeing it all come together and being a part of it.

“The goal is right there and every wants to win, as soon as spring training starts, to be together and start that race,” Quintana added. “It’s a really exciting moment. The postseason is cool and everybody wants to be there. Everybody knows how hard our division is, but I think we have all we need to do it.”

Raley, who mentioned that he had discussions with the Mets last offseason when he was a free agent, also said something that has become more and more obvious over recent years, and something that’s surely music to fans’ ears: the Mets have become a premier destination for free agents, with plenty of players taking notice of what the team is building.

“As a whole, I think the Mets [perception] is definitely a destination,” Raley said. “I think a lot of guys have taken notice and obviously the Mets’ market is obviously as good as any, and you want to play on a big market team at the end of the day and win and do well in a city like that.”