After missing out on a few of their relief pitching targets yesterday, the Mets signed a bullpen arm this morning. Anthony Swarzak, who split last year between the White Sox and the Brewers, signed a two-year, $14 million dollar contract with the team, pending a physical, according to Mark Carig of Newsday.
One day after whiffing on a pair of their top relief targets, the Mets pivoted to righthander Anthony Swarzak. In agreement on 2 years,$14m sources tell Newsday.— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) December 13, 2017
Swarzak is not the marquee name that some of the Mets’ other targets were, but he is an intriguing signing for a few reasons. He’s a veteran reliever, who has pitched for five major league teams in his career thus far. As Beyond the Box Score highlighted in May, his fastball/slider combination leads to a lot of swings and misses. He does this through a combination of sliders drawing hitters’ eyes outside the strike zone, and throwing them off his consistently in the zone fastball.
As D.J. Short pointed out, his swinging strike percentage was also quite impressive.
Anthony Swarzak had a higher swinging strike percentage in 2017 than the likes of Corey Knebel, Raisel Iglesias, and Addison Reed.— D.J. Short (@djshort) December 13, 2017
Andy Martino did a quick video update for SNY.tv, and suggested that the Mets were attracted to the idea of a versatile power arm that would fit into new manager Mickey Callaway’s desire to have a more flexible bullpen. It is also worth noting that Callaway was briefly Swarzak’s pitching coach in 2015 with the Indians.