Now that the 2020 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a deeper dive into the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of the season from A (Pete Alonso) to Z (Daniel Zamora). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at starting pitcher Michael Wacha.
Player Review: Michael Wacha
2020 Stats: 8 Games, 7 Starts, 34.0 Innings Pitched, 1-4 Won-Loss Record, 6.62 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 37:7 K:BB Ratio, -0.2 WAR
Story: With the Mets needing starting pitching after Zack Wheeler went to Philadelphia, GM Brodie Van Wagenen acted quickly to add Michael Wacha to the starting rotation. Fresh off a 2019 campaign where Wacha showed signs of the potential displayed earlier in his career with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Mets handed Wacha a creative deal with $3 million in guarantees along with varying incentives based on innings pitched and multi-inning stints that could have raised the total value of the contract to $10 million. Wacha was competing for a spot in the rotation during spring training before the pandemic shut down baseball but an injury to Noah Syndergaard ensured he wouldn’t have to do that in summer camp.
The Mets saw an encouraging first start from Wacha, who defeated the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, but that would turn out to be the only win he would register on the year. Wacha struggled to get deep into games before landing on the injured list, missing three weeks in August before being reinserted into the rotation ahead of rookie David Peterson in a controversial decision. The Mets saw Wacha pitch himself out of the rotation again but gave him one more opportunity after a solid relief outing in late September. The results still weren’t great as Wacha never delivered a quality start for the Mets, ending the season as a major disappointment.
The Mets didn’t get much out of Wacha, but perhaps they shouldn’t have been surprised since there wasn’t a huge clamoring to sign him before they did last winter. This turned out to be a case of the Mets getting exactly what they paid for in a low-risk signing that didn’t provide much of a shot at a reward.
Contract Status: Free Agent
Odds of Returning: 0%
2021 Role: None
There has been some buzz about Wacha being an intriguing buy-low candidate due to signs of new life with his fastball but the Mets are going to be shopping in a higher tier of starting pitchers than this. Wacha will land a deal somewhere in the hopes a pitching savvy team can fix him. It won’t be in Queens since the Mets will surely be looking for more certainty out of their rotation in a year they are planning to contend for the National League East title.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review series continues with a look at relief pitcher Justin Wilson!