The veteran was one of the best relief pitchers in baseball this year, and as a result, he likely has a big payday coming up this offseason.
Loup, who is a lefty, finished the year with an ERA of 0.95 over 65 appearances.
He also posted a 422 ERA+, 2.45 FIP, 0.94 WHIP, and 2.8 bWAR.
Left-handed relievers to appear in 60+ games, posting an ERA under 1.00 & a WHIP under 1.000:
— Mathew Brownstein (@MBrownstein89) October 27, 2021
The market for the 33-year-old figures to be very competitive.
Where might he land?
Here are a few options.
3. New York Mets (Re-Sign)
Loup spent the 2021 season with the New York Mets.
It’s not impossible to think he could return, but the team probably should have extended him before the season ended.
The Mets will now have to deal with competition from other teams.
Based on the way Loup performed with the Mets in 2021, it seems like he’s a good fit with the organization.
But at the end of the day, if New York wants to keep him around, the team is going to have to pay him what he’s worth.
Which is a lot.
We’ll see if any rumors surface regarding a potential reunion.
2. Cincinnati Reds
It’s clear that the Cincinnati Reds are close to getting over the hump.
The team exceeded expectations in 2021 and narrowly missed the playoffs.
But if the organization wants to take the next step, it’s going to have to address its relief situation.
The Reds had an ugly 5.00 bullpen ERA in the 2021 regular season, which was arguably the biggest reason why the team missed out on a postseason bid.
Moreover, this offseason, Cincinnati is in danger of losing some of the few quality relievers the club did have in 2021.
Unless the Reds address this issue, they won’t contend next season.
Signing Loup would go a long way in fixing this problem.
1. Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox need relief help.
The team had a fine relief staff throughout the majority of the regular season, but it became a major problem in the playoffs.
A series of bullpen implosions contributed to Boston’s elimination in the ALCS.
Adding Loup would do wonders for the Red Sox pitching staff.
Aaron Loup, Wicked 86mph Cutter…and Sword. 🤢⚔️ pic.twitter.com/CAnahIYZ9N
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 15, 2021
He would immediately become arguably the team’s top relief option, and he’d give the club some flexibility when it comes to managing the late innings of games.
There’s an old saying in baseball where you can never have enough relief help.
It’s true, and for that reason, Loup could realistically land anywhere.
Some teams might need a reliever of his caliber more than others, but the top offer might end up winning.
We’ll just have to wait and see which team that offer comes from.
Having said that, here’s a quote from Loup that’s likely good news for Mets fans.
“I am hoping they intend to sign me back,” the southpaw said before a regular-season game in September.
It’s clear where he stands regarding a potential return to New York.
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