Justin Wilson officially signs with New York Mets
The New York Mets made it official this past Monday, signing left-handed reliever, Justin Wilson. The veteran signed a two-year deal, worth $10 million.
In order to make room for Wilson, the Mets decided to release former 2012 first-round draft pick Gavin Cecchini. Gavin is just 25-years old and although battling injuries, and struggles, had a promising future.
Despite the release of Gavin, this was another important signing for Brodie and his staff. Justin Wilson is still just 31 years-old and most importantly, a left-handed pitcher. With the absence of Jerry Blevins, a left handed reliever was vital for this Mets ball-club going into this offseason.
In 2018, Justin pitched 54.2 innings, posting a 3.46 ERA, with 69 strikeouts and although not having much experience, Wilson does have a few saves under his belt. During his time with the Detroit Tigers, Wilson closed out 13 of their games back in 2017. This experience will help the Mets depth in the back end of their bullpen, allowing Jeunrys Familia to be used for not only the eighth inning role.
The signing of Jeunrys Familia was a little distasteful; despite having a 97-mph sinker and 97-mph fastball, Jeunrys struggles significantly with command, which is an aspect that a setup/closer should not have. The signing of Wilson now takes the pressure off Familia, allowing him to be used in less important roles throughout the game.
The depth that Justin Wilson brings also increases the chances of Seth Lugo joining the rotation if need be. Lugo is still young, and has all the tools to become a legitimate starter in the big leagues. Seth is not one to write off as a bullpen piece, and he deserves serious consideration for a rotation spot.
Another important detail to note is that although being a left-handed pitcher, Wilson can face both righties and lefties. This asset will be a new weapon for the Mets, as former lefty reliver, Jerry Blevins, was only effective against lefties. Because Wilson is able to face both sides of the plate, it still allows the opportunity for the 25-year-old out of Stony Brook University, Daniel Zamora and 29-year-old, Luis Avilan to make an impact this season. Both relievers are left-handed and have had solid numbers up to this point in time.
Daniel Zamora can be viewed as more of a lefty specialist than Luis Avilan. Zamora showed the league a small preview last season, pitching in 16 games with the big-league club. During that span Zamora showed off his devastating slider, while posting a 3.00 ERA with 16 strikeouts. Avilan on the other hand, has had more experience in the big-leagues, posting a 3.09 ERA throughout his 7-year career. Unlike Zamora, Avilan is better equipped to pitch to both lefties and righties, which may give him the upper hand over Zamora entering spring training.
Overall, these are two bullpen arms to look out for as we get closer the spring training; and if both produce this spring, the Mets may have gone from having no lefty relievers, to having a surplus of them.
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