The New York Mets have signed free-agent SP Michael Wacha to a 1 year, $3 million dollar contract.
Wacha went 6-7 in 24 starts last season with a 4.76 ERA, and 1.563 WHIP, through 126.2 innings pitched.
With a very average 2019 season in his past, Wacha looks to return back to NLCS MVP form. In 2013 he caught the baseball world by storm after throwing 7.1 one-hit innings against the Pittsburg Pirates in the 2013 NLDS, Wacha earned himself two more starts in the NLCS. In both games versus the Los Angeles Dodgers, he did not give up a single run, leading the Cardinals to the World Series. There he appeared in two games where he gave up a total of eight runs and only nine innings pitched. While it was not the result Wacha or the Cardinals were looking for, Michael Wacha was now a known name around the league and was quickly becoming a key piece to the club.
To say Wacha was shot into the spotlight would be an understatement. After being drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft, he was sent to Rookie Ball, A Advanced, and Double-A. In 2013 he found success at Triple-A and was then called up to the big club. Wacha had a solid 2013, 2014, and was named to the All-Star Game in 2015. In his 2015 All-Star season, he went 17-7 with a 3.38 ERA and 1.213 WHIP. Going into 2016, Wacha was poised to produce.
While Wacha was placed on the IR in 2014 after 15 starts, when he went down for a month in 2016, it was different. After shoulder complications in 2014, and a fully healthy All-Star year in 2015, an injured Wacha in 2016 would be very disappointing, to say the least. Wacha missed a month of that season and went 7-7 with a disgusting 5.09 ERA.
In 2017 he went 12-9 with a 4.13 ERA (30 games started), showing that when healthy, he can be an effective pitcher. But yet again in 2018, Wacha went down, this time with a left oblique strain, only after 15 starts. He finished the season 8-2 with a 3.20 ERA, and it seemed before the injury he was finally back on track to pitch consistently.
A month or two into 2019 the Cardinals moved Wacha to the bullpen. Aside from poor performance as a starter Wacha’s talent was ultimately utilized better as a relief pitcher. He played a fully healthy (subpar statistically) season.
The New York Mets plan to move him to the role of starting pitcher and is expected to take on the fifth starter role.