SAN DIEGO — The Mets lost Zack Wheeler to free agency and the Phillies, so they need some pitching. Michael Wacha is a pitcher, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Mets are finalizing a one year deal for him. Jon Heyman says it’ll be a one-year, $3 million deal with a chance for him to make $10 million if he hits incentives.
Wacha, 28, ended last season with a right shoulder strain. Before that he posted a 4.76 ERA, 104/55 K/BB ratio and 1.56 WHIP over 126.2 innings. He was moved to the bullpen for five appearances along the way.
That’s not great, but on a one-year deal, there’s little risk. He certainly has an incentive to return to form if he’s going to hit the market again next year. The bigger question is if Wacha is as big as the Mets plan to go to address their pitching needs. If so, some Mets fans aren’t gonna be super happy.
The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.
With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.
Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.
Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.