After a tumultuous week where the Mets front office faced heavy criticism for not being aggressive enough in free agency, the Mets have made their first move this offseason, signing reliever Anthony Swarzak to a 2-year/$14 million deal Wednesday, first reported by Mark Craig of Newsday.
The 32-year old right-hander has had a journeyman’s career, playing for six different teams so far in his 8-season career, even playing in Korea for the Doosan Bears in 2015. Swarzak defied expectations in a breakout season in 2017. In 77.1 innings, he pitched for an ERA of 2.33, an FIP of 2.74, and he threw 91 strikeouts, all of which are career-bests.
Swarzak’s pitching arsenal is limited. Since 2015, Swarzak has only used fastballs and sliders. His fastball velocity isn’t going to raise any eyebrows, clocking in at 95 mph, however his slider is one of the fastest in the league, clocking in at 87.4 mph, 17th fastest among relievers in 2017. His ability of mix his fastballs and his sliders has given him a lot of success in 2017. Last season, his fastball was used in 48.5% of pitches, while his slider was used in 51.5% of pitches.
Swarzak will reinforce a dilapidated Mets bullpen, which combined for an ERA of 4.82 in 2017, second-worst in the major leagues.
Photo Credit: Aaron Doster/USA Today Sports
Stats provided by FanGraphs and PitchFX from Baseball Prospectus