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.
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
Photo from SB Nation