The Mets are still interested in Brad Hand, a free agent reliever whose market might have changed after the Chicago White Sox awarded a large contract to closer Liam Hendriks on Monday night.
According to league sources, New York was one of several teams that was willing to sign Hand for one year and slightly less than the $10 million he would have made if claimed on waivers in October. All 30 clubs passed on the three-time All-Star at that price (at least during the waiver period), making him one of the top relievers available on the open market.
Hand is seeking a two-year deal, and has not yet found it. But many in the industry were surprised at the hefty salary that Hendriks commanded -- a $54 million guarantee over three years, in a deal that includes a fourth year option or deferred buyout for the same money.
One executive believed that the Hendriks deal would slow free agency because some agents were starting to show a willingness to lower prices. Now, a reliever like Hand might feel even more justified in seeking a multi-year deal. Perhaps Hendriks’ good fortune will trickle down on some level to Hand.