The New York Mets are in need of both bullpen and rotation help. Luck for them free agent pitcher Kevin Gausman can fill either spot.
With Zack Wheeler leaving for the Phillies and the bullpen being the mess it is the New York Mets need a lot of pitching help. They need a fifth starter who doesn’t remind fans of Jason Vargas and they need any bullpen help they can get. Kevin Gausman can fill either role for the Mets.
Gausman started his career with the Baltimore Orioles. He made his major league debut in 2013 as a long man. He made 20 appearances and fives starts. Gausman didn’t adapt to the role well. He struggled mightily in his rookie year.
In 2014 he was moved into the rotation full time. Gausman excelled in 2014 with a 3.57 ERA and 3.42 FIP. Gausman looked like he was ready to take the MLB by storm as one of the games best young pitchers. That never happened though.
Gausman has been up and down his whole career. Over his first five seasons, Gausman had a 4.18 ERA and 4.08 FIP. He was a decent back-end starter but nothing more than that. He continued that trend in 2018 with the Orioles, but at the deadline, the Braves made a move to get Gausman.
Gausman pitched some of the best baseball he has in his career. He made 10 starts with the Braves and pitched to a 2.87 ERA and 3.78 FIP. It looked like leaving Baltimore got him going. Then 2019 ad the juiced ball came.
Gausman was a victim of one of the worst ERA and FIP differences in all of baseball in 2019. Gausman started the year as a starter with the Braves. He made 16 starts and had a horrendous 6.19 ERA, but his FIP was 4.20. That seems to indicate Gausman was still the same back-end of the rotation starter he’s been most of his career.
That wasn’t enough for the Braves though. They designated Gausman for assignment in August. The Reds claimed Gausman and immediately stuck the mercurial starter in the bullpen. Gausman’s found a groove in the Reds’ bullpen.
Gausman had a 3.10 ERA as a reliever. He struck out nearly 12 batters per nine innings ad only walked 2.7 batters per nine. Both of those numbers were career bests for Gausman. He found new life as a reliever and pitched as well as he’s ever pitched. The only issue is that this is an incredibly small sample size.
The Reds non-tendered Gausman after the season deciding that he wasn’t worth the over $10 he was going to get in arbitration.
Whether the Mets want to try Gausman as a starter or stick him the bullpen long term Gausman seems an ideal fit. He’ll likely come on a cheap one-year deal and help this team out in multiple ways. There may not be a better fit for the Mets to gamble on this year than Kevin Gausman.