Mets sign Sam McWilliams

The Mets have made their first MLB free agent signing, as they signed Rays prospect Sam McWilliams to a major league deal worth $750k. McWilliams hasn’t pitched in the majors yet, making this the highest paid MLB deal for a player who hasn’t made their MLB debut to date (not coming from Asia).

The 25 year old pitched between AA/AAA in 2019, combining a 4.10 ERA over 131.2 innings. The 6’7” righty is mostly a starter and will provide some depth to the organization. In over 6 minor league seasons, he has pitched to a 3.85 ERA in 535 innings. He isn’t a strikeout guy as he has just a 7 strikeout per nine rate.

Also read: Shaping up the Mets bullpen

The tall righty features a mid to high 90s FB that reportedly reaches as high as 99 MPH. He also features a slider and change-up. He could be a long man/spot starter for the Mets, a part they desperatly need improvement from in 2021. Little surprised it’s a MLB deal but they probably see something in this young hard throwing righty. He will be part of the 40 man roster but still has 3 options years left. This makes it a depth move with the Mets still being able to put him in AAA. He will most likely go back and forth and provide much needed starting pitching depth.

It’s definitely worth mentioning that he was part of the Rays taxisquad in 2020, so he’s been fairly close to seeing MLB time. The Mets 40-man roster now stands at 37, but this move makes a Gsellman getting non tendered even more likely.

Update:

Two notable tidbits in this article by Tim Healey:

  • Mets plan to use McWilliams as a reliever
  • 15 teams were pursuing him, including multiple with major league offers

Also read: More arms the Mets have shown early interest in

Photo from SB Nation

Nick Tropeano to the Mets is an underrated move

By Angelina Heather Rizzo

The Mets made a move on Friday to bring pitcher Nick Tropeano to Queens. Here’s a look at his 2020 campaign and what makes this a potentially awesome move for the Mets for years to come.

In 2020, Tropeano had a 1-0 record, with a 1.15 ERA and 19 strikeouts and a 1.15 WHIP.

He didn’t start in 2020, but could be used as a swing man out of the bullpen.

Also read: Mets acquire infielder

Tropeano did great when inserted in games in 2020. His 2021 success should be similar.

Tropeano is only 30 years old. With the 2020 he’s had, he should pitch effectively alongside Jacob DeGrom and Noah Syndergaard and or the relievers.

The Mets, with David Peterson pitching, should see a glimpse of a good pitching again. They have the pitchers needed to see a change, and Tropeano provides another strong solid start.

Also read: Free agent target: James McCann

Mets add even more depth

After the Mets claimed Jacob Barnes, they also added local guy Nick Tropeano. The righty had a terrific 2020 over 15.2 innings he allowed just 2 runs (1.15 ERA) while striking out 19.

Overall in his career Tropeano has been a guy who provided starting pitching depth for the Angels. He pitched to a 4.29 ERA over 233 innings in his career. Not a lot of MLB innings considering he has been in the majors for parts of 6 seasons.

This year Tropeano was used out of the pen as a multi inning guy, but I see him as depth for the starting pitching role. His hard hit percentage this year was high, which shows luck was involved in this small samplesize.

Still adding pitching depth, especially for starting pitching, is never a bad thing. Tropeano still relied on his starters repertoire showing a slider, splitter, 4 seamer, sinker and change up. Hope he keeps doing that and provide much needed depth.

His slider was his main success pitch in 2020. Hitters were just 1 for 13 on the slider and he used it 31 percent of the time (most in his arsenal). Although I do not see that being sustainable. His RPM (spin rate) and exit velo on his slider in 2019, were about the same, but in 2019 that pitch got hit hard.

Photo from Yanks Go Yard