The New York Mets made two big moves on Thursday night. They re-signed Brandon Nimmo to an eight year, $162 million contract and added David Robertson to the bullpen for one year and $10 million. They already have the highest payroll in MLB history, and they still have holes on the roster that need to be filled.
The next move the Mets should make is signing right-handed reliever Matt Wisler.
Wisler is coming off of a strong 2022 in Tampa. He made 39 appearances, pitching as an opener (five starts made), middle reliever, and closer (10 games finished, one save). He pitched 44 innings and allowed 30 hits, 11 earned runs, 14 walks, and struck out 35 batters. His ERA was 2.25, his FIP was 4.25, his WHIP was 1.00, and his ERA+ was 162.
Wisler has the funniest pitch usage graph I’ve ever seen. As his fastball velocity has steadily decreased over the years, he’s relied more and more on his slider. He debuted as a five-pitch pitcher, but his slider has shot up the charts as other pitches have fallen off. When he first came up, he threw his slider 23.5% of the time, now he throws it 91.5% of the time. He’s scrapped his sinker, changeup, and curveball entirely, and he only uses his four-seamer the remaining 8.5% of the time.
Wisler was DFA’d in early September, a surprising move by the Rays considering he was having a strong season. He only made $2.16 million in 2022, so he will be a cheap addition (not that Steve Cohen cares about money). He doesn’t have electric stuff, but he is a solid middle relief arm who can be trusted to get outs in a variety of situations. Some teams might be scared that he’s lost some velocity, but he never threw hard anyway (averaged 93 mph at peak), and he demonstrated that he can get outs without it last season.