The New York Mets were recently able to secure the services of a hard throwing left-handed reliever on a two-year contract.
According to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic on Twitter, the New York Mets have reached an agreement with free agent Justin Wilson. After finishing last season ranked 28th in the MLB with a -0.6 WAR from their relievers (FanGraphs team rankings), the Mets desperately needed to locate bullpen reinforcements this offseason.
Even though Wilson is not at the same level of relievers such as Zach Britton or Andrew Miller, he was able to put together a 0.5 WAR all by himself out of the Chicago Cubs bullpen last season. Through 71 appearances, he compiled a 3.46 ERA, 3.64 FIP, and a 1.427 WHIP.
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The 1.427 WHIP is a result of allowing 45 hits alongside 33 walks during his 54.2 innings pitched. Although his WHIP was nothing to write home about, Wilson was able to compile 69 strikeouts. His 11.36 strikeout per nine inning ratio ranked him 27th in the entire MLB amongst relief pitchers.
According to Jon Heyman of Fancred on Twitter, Wilson will receive a two-year contract worth $10.00 million. He will join a revamped Mets’ bullpen that now includes Edwin Diaz alongside the returning Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo, and Robert Gsellman. As teams continue to avoid using their starting pitchers against a lineup for a third or fourth time during one start, it was imperative for the organization to upgrade their group of relievers ahead of next season.
Outside of his time spent with the Cubs, Wilson has also appeared in games for the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees, and Detroit Tigers. During his seven-year career, he has compiled a 3.33 ERA, 3.30 FIP, and a 1.268 WHIP through 412 appearances. Wilson has also compiled 166 walks compared to 407 strikeouts through 370.2 innings pitched for a 2.45 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Even though Wilson is not at the level of the aforementioned Britton or Miller, he is a solid left-handed option out of the bullpen that can effectively handle left-handed batters. Despite giving up a .244/.350/.358 slash-line to right-handed batters, he held left-handed batters down to a .190/.301/.342 slash-line. If Wilson can replicate last seasons performance against left-handed batters going forward, $5.00 million per season over the next two-years may end up a bargain deal for the Mets.