New York Mets reliever Justin Wilson hits free agency this winter. Should the club bring him back?
Some New York Mets free agents are easier to say goodbye to than others. Others make us squirm a little bit because it’s so difficult to pinpoint exactly what lies ahead for their future.
Among the upcoming Mets free agents, the one I am most unsure about is relief pitcher Justin Wilson. At a young 33-years-old right now, he’s at the age when players might start declining rapidly. However, he’s not nearly as close to receiving AARP benefits in the mail as many still effective relievers in this game.
When New York signed Wilson two years ago after his age 30 season, it was tough to get upset about. Wilson has been consistent throughout most of his career.
In year one with the Mets, he finished with a 4-2 record and 2.54 ERA in 39 innings of work. He probably won’t have a chance to lower his ERA that much before the end of the 2020 season but his production after a rough start is something that has me contemplating the possibility of re-signing the veteran southpaw.
I like the idea of this club having a lefty they can trust like Wilson in the bullpen next year. Although he may cost more than Chasen Shreve, the team can certainly make it work with both of them riding on the reliever cavalry horses.
Wilson was one of only two relievers anyone cared to see come out of the bullpen in 2019. This hasn’t been the case in 2020 with far more reliable innings from his teammates than expected.
Just because the Mets do have other relief options doesn’t mean they should let Wilson slip away so easily. Despite the prestige starting pitchers get and the big contracts a closer can earn, teams are constantly reminded of the value a middle reliever brings to the field. The 2019 Mets can attest to this.
Should the Mets re-sign Justin Wilson?
The Mets have a lot of transaction decisions to make this winter and one of their biggest needs is to address the starting rotation. I’m not sure how much money will be an issue under Steve Cohen. We know he cannot literally buy up all of the best players—or can he?
Whether Wilson is with the club or not will not make a difference in the standings by a whole lot. The key is to find someone who can effectively get lefties out. The cost of a middle reliever like this shouldn’t be a whole lot more than the $5 million per year Wilson had on his original deal in each of the last two seasons.
Wilson, in spite of his age, is the type of pitcher that may end up getting a bump in salary this offseason from a team looking to completely retool their bullpen. I could see him landing a one-year deal with a team tired of losing because their bullpen stinks.
Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!
Wilson’s time with the Mets may be coming to a close soon. I would like to see him back, but more importantly, I would like to see the team move the pitching Tetris pieces around and come out of the free agent period looking strong.