The Mets have signed right-handed starting pitcher Michael Wacha to a one-year deal, as Newsday’s Tim Healey first reported on Tuesday afternoon. According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Wacha will have a $3 million base salary with the ability to boost his 2020 earnings up to $10 million through incentives:
The Mets have an agreement with righthander Michael Wacha, pending a physical, a source said.— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) December 11, 2019
When the deal is done, he'll slot in as their No. 5 starter, their replacement for Zack Wheeler.
Wacha, 28, had a down 2019: 4.76 ERA, 1.56 WHIP.
Wacha is a CAA client.
Wacha gets 3M with chance to make 10M #mets— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 11, 2019
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen is using two of his patented techniques with this deal, as he’s A) signing one of his former clients at CAA and B) bringing in a veteran on a relatively low base salary with the ability for that salary to become rather large through incentives. Wacha will slot in as the Mets’ new fifth starter behind Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, and Steven Matz. With all those pitchers except deGrom historically being rather injury-prone, this deal could be rather risky for the Mets, as Wacha has dealt with chronic shoulder issues throughout his career and has spent time on the disabled/injured list in four of his seven major-league seasons, including three of the last four.
Wacha, 28, has had some very good years and some very bad years through seven big-league seasons with the Cardinals. The No. 19 pick in the 2012 draft debuted the summer after he was drafted and won the 2013 NLCS MVP after posting a 2.78 ERA during the regular season. He was good for the most part when healthy in 2014, though he gave up the infamous Travis Ishikawa walk-off homer that sent the Giants to the World Series that October. He thrived again in 2015, making his first and only NL All-Star team, before struggling in 2016-17. He had another strong but injury-ravaged season in 2018, and he struggled in ‘19, posting a 4.76 ERA with a 1.56 WHIP while striking out 104 and walking 55 over 126.2 innings. He was better after the All-Star break, allowing a 3.58 ERA, compared to a 5.54 before the break.