New York Mets: Where in the world is Anthony Swarzak?
By Tim Boyle
New York Mets relief pitcher Anthony Swarzak is unlikely to return until at least early June. When he does, what can he offer this team’s bullpen?
This past offseason, the New York Mets went out and acquired one of the hottest free agent relievers on the market. They inked Anthony Swarzak to a two-year deal after the veteran righty posted a career-best 2.33 ERA as a member of the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers.
A month and a half into the season, fans are wondering where this investment has gone.
Swarzak pitched two games for the Mets before landing on the disabled list with an oblique injury. It’s too little of a sample size to judge what he can actually do on the mound. Based on his career numbers, we shouldn’t know what to expect from him.
In his eight previous MLB seasons, Swarzak had only one full season that stands out as positive. This came in 2013 when he ended the year with a 2.91 ERA. He followed that up with a 4.60 ERA, a 3.38 ERA, and 5.52 ERA. I don’t mention the 3.38 ERA seasons because this included only ten games.
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The Mets took a risk on Swarzak repeating what he did in 2017. Clearly, his track-record doesn’t show any hint of consistency. Pitching last season at 31, he somehow managed to raise his strike out totals and lower his ERA.
Swarzak’s contract is a bit troublesome because of its length and total. This year, Swarzak makes $5.5 million. This is a fair market value for someone who accomplished what he did last year. The fact that it also includes another $8.5 million next season scares me.
Mets fans are already concerned about Jason Vargas‘ deal which extends into a third year but includes a buyout. Now, with Swarzak on the disabled list for the foreseeable future, they need to worry about him too.
Injuries have battered the Mets this season. Both catchers went down early with Travis d’Arnaud suffering the worst of it. He’s out of the year, possibly gone from a Mets’ uniform for good.
Swarzak is currently on pace to return at the beginning of June. As a pitcher, I don’t know what to expect.
Hopefully, Swarzak can return in early June and give the Mets what he gave the White Sox and Brewers last year. If he can, we’re looking at a bullpen with yet another really good option.
Next: Mets no longer owe Carlos Beltran in 2019
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If only the starting rotation had such luck.