San Diego — The New York Mets came to terms with former Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J) star pitcher Rick Porcello on a one-year, 10-million deal today, pending a physical, according to several media sources.
The contract comes a day after the Mets inked right-handed starting pitcher Michael Wacha to a deal worth $3 million dollars that includes up to $7 million dollars in incentives, according to a source, primarily based upon how many games he starts in 2020, providing he make the squad.
Born in Morristown, New Jersey, Porcello captured the 2016 American League Cy Young Award with the Red Sox and was a starting pitcher on Boston’s 2018 World Series championship team.
Therefore, Porcello has experience as a winner but didn’t fare so well last season, posting a high 5.52 ERA.
However, the righty and former Detroit Tigers MLB first-round amateur pick in 2007 has eaten up innings, averaging 185 frames per season over the last 11 years, during which he went 149-118 with a 4.36 ERA.
The Mets do believe that their new pitching coach, Jeremy Hefner, can help Porcello right the proverbial ship and return him to his old form, as he’s only 30 years old, and he’ll use this season to hopefully leverage himself into a more lucrative contract in the future.
Additionally, his return to the area could possibly help him bring into a more comfortable zone, with friends and family members going to see him pitch at Citi Field. But that remains to be seen.
“When you look at Rick Porcello, he’s done it,” Van Wagenen said on Mets.com. “He’s been battle-tested. He’s performed in the playoffs. He’s got rings on his fingers.”
So, New York will go into spring training with six starting pitchers competing for five spots, as well as the team’s plan to stretch out relievers Seth Logo and Robert Gsellman as starters during the preseason to possibly vie for the number five slot. That’s highly unlikely, in my opinion, though.
That leaves the Mets with a ton of starting pitching rotation depth.
But the consensuses among MLB insiders is that they’ll look for help in their beleaguered bullpen, something that arguably cost New York an opportunity at making the postseason in 2019.
However, staying under MLB’s luxury tax threshold seems to be of utmost importance to the Queens franchise.
Other possible Mets roster desires include a center fielder (they did recently acquire defensive-minded outfielder Jake Marisnick) and a backup catcher if they fall into their frugal price range.
— Jerry Del Priore