2024 Mets outlook: Sean Manaea expectations and predictions

Sean Manaea (59) will pitch for his fourth team in four seasons in 2024. He previously pitched for the A's, Padres, and Giants.
Sean Manaea (59) will pitch for his fourth team in four seasons in 2024. He previously pitched for the A's, Padres, and Giants. / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Manaea was another name that came out of the blue for the New York Mets in their quest to improve and restructure their rotation. Manaea signed a 2-year, $28 million contract with the Mets in January in hopes that he could continue the improvements he made during the last four months of the 2023 season with the San Francisco Giants.

With a rotation that has already seen its ace, Kodai Senga, go down with a shoulder injury, it will be key to see whether Manaea can produce positive results for the Mets in 2024 after an up and down season with the Giants last year.

Sean Manaea is projected to be the No. 3 starter in the New York Mets rotation.

Last season, Manaea had a tough start as a starter, so the Giants moved him to the bullpen as a long reliever by the middle of May. Then, he got another chance to start regularly in September, and he did well in his four starts to end the season, going 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in 24 innings, including seven scoreless innings against the mighty Dodgers on September 22. So, in one sense, the momentum he carried into the offseason and led to a raise in his annual salary.

It also helped that the velocities on all of his pitches increased by about two to three miles an hour on the radar gun after working with Driveline. The tick-up in velocity led to a higher strikeout rate and a lower hard-hit rate, though his walk rate increased slightly. He also developed a sweeper which proved to be effective, as the opposition hit just .158 against it in 2023. The sweeper might be a bigger play in his arsenal this year with Jeremy Hefner as his new pitching coach.

Manaea said earlier this spring that he plans to incorporate a cutter in his repertoire, giving him as many as six pitches that he can work with.

Manaea enters his ninth season in the major leagues with his fourth different team in the last four seasons. He spent the first six seasons with the Oakland A's, then was traded to the San Diego Padres in 2022, then signed in San Francisco with the Giants in 2023 before coming to the Mets this winter.

2024 stat predictions: 9-9, 4.34 ERA, 145 IP, 150 K, 27 starts