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New York Mets News: Sam McWilliams, we hardly knew ye

Mar 1, 2021; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets Sam McWilliams #52 poses during media day at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: MLB photos via USA TODAY Sports
Mar 1, 2021; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets Sam McWilliams #52 poses during media day at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: MLB photos via USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Mets made a bold move this offseason to sign free agent pitcher Sam McWilliams to a major league contract despite never appearing in a big league game. Hoping they could steal a young stud off the open market, the team gambled on the former Tampa Bay Rays minor leaguer.

Those hopeful that McWilliams could turn into something special were disappointed to learn the end of his time with the Mets franchise may soon come to an end. McWilliams was designated for assignment on Monday, which at the very least, removes him from the 40-man roster and suggests he may never pitch for the Mets.

Perhaps the Mets weren’t the right fit for Sam McWilliams to blossom

With a Triple-A roster flush with starting pitching options, McWilliams was used exclusively as a reliever for Syracuse. In seven games and 8.1 innings of work, McWilliams was 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA. Throwing strikes proved difficult as he already had eight in his short sample size.

The Mets have been extremely careful with their pitching staff this year. They are not giving too many guys an opportunity to start and have been mostly fortunate at keeping the bullpen healthy. When the season began, McWilliams looked like one of those guys who could fill in as a starting pitcher for the Mets at some point this season. However, with bullpen duties down on the farm, it seemed the franchise already had other ideas for him.

McWilliams isn’t the only notable pitcher to receive the DFA treatment this year. Several weeks ago, Franklyn Kilome was also removed from the 40-man roster. He managed to survive waivers and has been starting for Syracuse since.

McWilliams is in a different position than Kilome. His heftier contract might be less intriguing to other clubs. But even if he does manage to clear waivers, what’s to say the Mets don’t outright release him?

On Monday, McWilliams wasn’t the only Mets player designated for assignment. Cameron Maybin, who finally got his first hit with the club on Saturday, also received a pink slip. He’ll slip through waivers easier than the popcorn does through my fingers at the movie theater.

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Maybin’s Mets story is a lot less about “what if the team was more patience?” than the case with McWilliams may McBee. Maybin was given ample opportunity to win a role on the team. He couldn’t have come further away from doing so.

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