Mets: Anthony Swarzak got a deal that will cost more than $14 million

PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 16: Anthony Swarzak #38 of the New York Mets delivers a ninth inning pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 16, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. Mets won 5-1. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 16: Anthony Swarzak #38 of the New York Mets delivers a ninth inning pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 16, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. Mets won 5-1. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Even though the bats have been the most disappointing part of the 2018 New York Mets, the Anthony Swarzak signing may have been the most ill-advised move.

When Anthony Swarzak took the mound in his first game as New York Mets, the anticipation was high. One of the only big named players to be signed by the Mets in the 2018 offseason, Swarzak was supposed to be an answer to the problems in the bullpen.

Pitching one inning of work on Opening Day against the St. Louis Cardinals, Swarzak threw 13 pitches, sending the Cardinals down in order, one of them on strikes. Things seemed to be going as planned from the start.

In his second appearance, things didn’t go as smoothly, after which Swarzak would find himself on the 60-Day DL. After going through his recovery and rehab for his left oblique strain, Swarzak returned to the Mets hoping to recapture the magic from his previous season.

But therein lies the problem. Swarzak’s 2017 might as well have been magic because there’s no way he can duplicate those numbers again. The Mets however, gave him a two-year deal would $14 million dollars. That’s $5.5 million this year and $8.5 million in 2019 for a player who doesn’t exist.

The Mets straight up overpaid and overestimated Anthony Swarzak, and they’re going to pay for it.

Currently, Swarzak has an ERA north of 6.00, the highest on the team, and 5 of the 64 batter’s he has faced have taken him deep. Those are the numbers of guys like Corey Oswalt and Tim Peterson, not a solid bullpen piece like Swarzak, the $14 million dollar pitching machine.

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Want a clearer picture of Swarzak’s poor performance? Hansel Robles has better numbers in a Mets uniform this season. That’s right. Former Mets right-hander Hansel “Pointing At Homers” Robles, who was recently designated for assignment had better numbers this season.

Does Swarzak have time to turn things around? Yes, but that’s not a good thing. The Mets signed Swarzak to a two-year deal, meaning we’re stuck with him for another season. That’s a problem and the Mets have no one to blame but themselves for not looking at Swarzak’s numbers before last season.

Prior to 2017, when Swarzak was one of the top relievers in the game, his numbers didn’t stand up to the $14 million he will take home.

In 2016 with the Yankees, Swarzak posted a 5.52 ERA in 26 games and 31 innings of work. The Yankees paid him $750,000 for his services, seven times less than the Mets are paying him in 2018.

Pitching for Minnesota Twins, the team that drafted Swarzak in the second round of the 2004 draft and gave him his MLB debut, the young hurler didn’t make as much of an impact as you would have thought. Originally a starter for Minnesota, Swarzak moved to the bullpen after his first two seasons. Overall, in his 5-years with the Twins, Swarzak posted a 16-24 record, an ERA of 4.48 and a 1.385 WHIP.

It’s easy to see why the Twins let him walk in 2014.

And if there’s one guy who knows about Swarzak’s abilities, it’s Mickey Callaway, who coached Swarzak in Cleveland in 2015. Did Mickey not know that Swarzak didn’t have the stuff? Or was he riding on the bandwagon of belief in his 2017 numbers as the standard?

The Mets are stuck with Swarzak for another season. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. For Swarzak, however, things will get better, especially his bank account. That $8.5 million dollar paycheck is a nice to get for poor performance and lack of accountability.

So when you hear people talk about Wilmer Flores‘ $5 million that he’ll likely be due in 2019 as a reason for his departure, remember Anthony Swarzak and his horrible, terrible, overpriced, under-researched and generally awful contract.

Next: Five Mets on the trade block right now

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