The New York Mets have added another arm to their bullpen, coming to terms with free agent relief pitcher Justin Wilson on a two-year contract worth $10 million. The deal, which was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, is pending a physical.
Wilson has bounced around during his career, pitching parts of seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the New York Yankees, the Detroit Tigers, and, most recently, the Chicago Cubs. The 31-year-old southpaw has mostly found success wherever he has gone, sporting a career 3.33 ERA and 3.30 FIP in 370.2 innings pitched. In his career, he has averaged 9.9 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9.
He is coming off a solid season for the Cubs, during which he had a 3.46 ERA and a 3.64 FIP in 54.2 innings pitched over 71 appearances. Among all free agent relief pitchers, he had the seventh-best strikeout rate at 29.2%, but he also posted a high 14.0% walk rate last year. He faced 93 lefty batters in 2018 and held them to a .188 batting average and .643 OPS.
Wilson will likely serve as the team’s featured left-handed option of the bullpen. Earlier this offseason, the club signed Luis Avilan and Hector Santiago to minor league contracts and invited them both to spring training. Daniel Zamora, who pitched well at the major league level in limited action last year, is also a candidate to earn a spot on the roster out of spring training.
Brodie Van Wagenen has made improving the bullpen a priority, acquiring closer Edwin Diaz in a trade and signing Jeurys Familia to a three-year deal. Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo also figure to play a prominent role in the pen, leaving two or three open spots heading into spring training.