What about Jose Martinez? He failed to even make it onto the field after a preseason injury. Both were definitely poor additions with the latter giving them nothing at all.
I’m not going to call this free agent signing the worst one the Mets made last winter. Can we really measure the low-risk, high-reward move they made? Nevertheless, the one very bad free agent signing the Mets made last offseason that you forgot about is the one many were most intrigued by. I am talking about the signing of pitcher Sam McWilliams.
The Mets took a chance on Sam McWilliams and it flopped
What made McWilliams so intriguing was that he signed a major league deal with the Mets despite never playing in the major leagues. Hopeful they could capitalize on some secret sauce McWilliams had brewing, their experimentation with him didn’t last long at all.
After only 8.1 innings of relief for the Syracuse Mets in Triple-A, the team cut him loose. He didn’t even make it to June and with it, he carried a 10.80 ERA with him back into free agency.
McWilliams wouldn’t remain unemployed. The San Diego Padres gave him a deal. However, there was no switch in his season. In 18.1 innings down in Double-A, McWilliams had a 4.91 ERA. Back in Triple-A where he struggled as a member of the Mets organization, McWilliams posted an ERA of 10.07.
Hey, it’s an improvement over his Syracuse numbers.
The Mets front office will never get it perfect in any winter. Taking a chance on McWilliams was a bold move with no payoff whatsoever. It didn’t matter if Sports Illustrated covered the signing as if it could change baseball. The 2021 season wasn’t McWilliams’ day, month, or even his year.
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A somewhat freshly turned 26, McWilliams is a crossroads of his career. Definitely young enough to figure things out and bloom a little later, perhaps this is a case of the Mets being too ahead of their time. We’ll have to hope he doesn’t end up killing them in the future. Who out there doesn’t think this could happen?