Justin Wilson

New York Mets add experience and reliability as they complete bullpen rebuild with Justin Wilson

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Reliever Justin Wilson has agreed to join the New York Mets on a two-year, $10 million contract, per Jeff Passan.

Wilson earned $4.25 million with the Cubs in 2018, having been traded from the Tigers at the 2017 trade deadline. He pitched 54.2 Major League innings for the 2016 champions last season.

The left-hander has been a solid pitcher throughout his career in the big leagues, averaging 61 innings per 162 games with a 3.33 ERA.

Control has been the main concern for the veteran. He was in the bottom two percent of the league in walk rate in 2018 (14%). His stuff remains good. The former Detroit Tiger struck out 11.4 batters per nine innings last season and had a 32.8% hard hit rate, which ranks in the 70th percentile across the Majors.

The Mets have been the busiest team in MLB this offseason, adding an experienced left-hander for the bullpen was always going to be a priority. Luis Avilan got a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training and could join Wilson in the ‘pen this season. Brodie van Wagenen has already brought in Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia to bolster the relief group at Citi Field, but a left-hander was required.


Wilson can obviously be used as a matchup guy and will be tasked with getting some splitty lefty sluggers out. Throughout his career, though, Wilson has a similar record against both lefties and right-handers, making him a particularly valuable arm to have.

In what has been a slow-moving winter, relief pitchers have consistently been paid. Wilson joins Kelvin Herrera, David Robertson, Zach Britton, Adam Ottavino and Andrew Miller in receiving a multi-year, eight-figure contract this offseason.

Like with every move the Mets make, this has to be viewed with the qualification that their spending is limited. Wilson might not have the reputation of Britton or Miller, but he is a good addition to a Mets bullpen that van Wagenen has completely rejuvenated.

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