As you know, Brian Wilson worked out for the Mets the other day. Color them unimpressed, reports Mike Puma:
According to a baseball source Tuesday, the veteran closer didn’t impress the Mets during his workout at UCLA on Saturday and wasn’t deemed worthy of a major league contract at this point in his rehab from Tommy John surgery. Wilson, the source said, wasn’t interested in a minor league deal.
“Physically, he’s not ready,” the source said. “He’s got a ways to go.”
But … he’s black ops, yes?
If that’s really the assessment — that he’s not there physically — one wonders if he’d be able to find a better situation mid-season, when lots of teams are looking for a bullpen arm.
The Tampa Bay Rays have signed lefty swingman Ryan Merritt to a minor league contract. Nah, it’s not a big signing but we’ll take anything today.
Merritt, who has spent his entire career in the Indians organization, spent the entire 2018 season at Triple-A Columbus. It wasn’t a bad year for him — he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 52/2 K/BB ratio in 13 starts and two relief appearances covering 71.1 innings — but the Tribe just couldn’t find a role for him at the big league level. He has shown in the past, however, that he can hack it in the bigs, having posted a 1.71 ERA in 31.2 innings with the Indians between 2016-2017.
His thing is that he simply doesn’t strike guys out at anything approaching a typical clip for a big leaguer: 3.7 per nine innings in his small sample of major league outings and 6.3 Ks per nine innings in the minors. Which, while it may not prevent him from having success at the big league level, is likely a reason for the limited number of chances he’s been given.
The Rays are probably the best place he could go, frankly. They’ve shown themselves willing to utilize guys in unique ways and are more likely than most teams to find places to spot a lefty control specialist who has shown he can both start and come out of the pen.