The Mets have their 5th starter.
The Amazin’s have an agreement with 28 year old Michael Wacha for the 2020 season. Wacha is coming off a rough 2018 campaign, in which he pitched to a 4.76 ERA over 126 innings and posting fewer than two strikeouts per walk. After compiling a 5.59 ERA through nine starts, he was moved to the bullpen at the end of May.
Wacha has been up and down since his 2015 All-Star season. Back and shoulder issues have routinely sidelined the right hander over the last few seasons. Only once in the last four years has Wacha thrown as many as 140 innings in a season.
It wasn’t long ago where many thought that Wacha would be the big name of the 2020 free agent pitching class. A first round pick in 2012, Wacha burst onto the scene for the Cardinals in 2013 winning the NLCS MVP, and eventually making the All-Star team in 2015 as mentioned above.
I’m happy that we didn’t give up prospects, or attach bad contracts to Smith or Davis to get our fifth starter. Hey, there have been times throughout his career where Wacha has been downright dominant.
At this point, we simply have to hope that Wacha still has something left in the tank. This is a pitcher who has had multiple shoulder injuries and has lost velocity. Red flags abound.
Zack Wheeler & Jason Vargas’ combined fWAR in 2019: 6.5
Marcus Stroman & Michael Wacha’s combined fWAR in 2019: 3.7
For his career, he has a 59-39 record with a 3.91 ERA and 759 strikeouts.
We’ll be back once we know the exact particulars for this deal.
UPDATE: The deal is one year at 3 million dollars. However, Wacha can earn an additional 7 million dollars through performance based incentives.
P.S. is it just a coincidence that Michael Wacha is a CAA client?