When the New York Mets signed right-hander Michael Wacha from the free agent pool late last year, they told him that he was going to be a starter. They inked the former Cardinal to an incentive-laden one-year deal with a base salary of roughly $3 million.
However, just hours later, they announced the signing of fellow starter Rick Porcello to a one-year deal worth $10 million. With those two, the team would now have six capable starters.
Several ideas have been thrown around in the last few hours as the Mets get creative to fill the back of their rotation. Jacob deGrom is the unquestioned ace, and he is followed by Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman.
Lefty Steven Matz, Porcello and Wacha are said to be fighting for two spots. Given the resources invested in Porcello, however, it is likely he gets one of the two openings.
For the final one, the New York Post reported that the Mets could be considering several paths. They could alternate Matz and Wacha depending on the matchup, or they could go with Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman as openers followed by Wacha or Matz as the bulk guys. Nothing has been dismissed yet.
The Mets told him he was going to start
But Wacha knows what he wants. “They told me I am a starter, so that is what I am here for,” he said to Mike Puma of the Post.
In his first spring training game on Tuesday, the Mets’ hurler turned two scoreless frames. His fastball sat in the 94-96 mph range, which is fantastic given that he averaged 93.4 with the pitch in 2019.
“The ball felt like it was coming out good,” Wacha said. “It felt like the other pitches were playing off that fastball command and overall I thought it went well.”
The Mets may have a great problem in their hands.