The New York Mets were confident they would leave the Winter Meetings with a reliever, and they finally ended up with a bullpen addition. The team agreed to terms this morning with right handed reliever Anthony Swarzak on a two year deal worth $14 million, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports. Swarzak, 32, had a breakthrough 2017 season with the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers. In 77.1 innings pitched, Swarzak went 6-4 with a 2.33 ERA and 1.03 WHIP while putting up an outstanding 91:32 strikeout to walk ratio.
The deal is pending a physical, but represents a quick pivot for the Mets after they got outbid for Bryan Shaw and Tommy Hunter yesterday. Swarzak will fit into the late inning mix alongside Jerry Blevins, Jeurys Familia, and A.J. Ramos in new manager Mickey Callaway’s committee style bullpen. Carig is also reporting that an evaluator noticed Swarzak’s fastball got up to 97 miles per hour at the end of last year, which led to the uptick in strikeouts compared to his career averages. If Swarzak can maintain that fastball increase, the Mets may have found a bargain for their bullpen.
This move finally gets the Mets into the offseason, but they still need to address several other areas of need moving forward. The Mets could use another dependable reliever for their bullpen, although that may wait until later in the winter. The more pressing concern appears to be finding a second baseman, with Ian Kinsler reportedly high on the Mets’ list of targets. The Detroit Tigers reportedly want to move Kinsler ahead of the Rule V draft, so this situation could resolve itself before the end of the day.