Is there a person on the planet that looks at the Oakland Athletics roster with any purpose other than to see who they might trade away? The team is about to embark on another rebuild which means eliminating as much payroll as possible. For teams like the New York Mets that are looking to build a winner next year, this means it’s time to put on your plundering pants.
You already know how much Matt Chapman could help the Mets at third base but they have a few other options to help improve the team in Queens. Among them is starting pitcher Sean Manaea.
A man with as many no-hitters in his career as everyone in Mets history combined (1), he’s someone we should absolutely expect the Athletics to shop and Billy Eppler to call about.
What makes Sean Manaea such a great fit for the Mets?
Manaea is 29 and coming off a year where he went 11-10 with a 3.91 ERA. Not impressed? I don’t blame you.
What should impress you is that he made a league-leading 32 starts, tossed a pair of shutouts, and logged 179.1 total innings. Furthermore, he struck out 9.7 batters per nine.
Again, I don’t expect you to legally change your first name to Manaea because of how great this is. Don’t be silly. But what is notable about this strikeout total is how much improvement it shows.
For his career, Manaea has averaged 7.9 strikeouts per nine innings of work. Could it be that last season was an outlier or a sign that maybe he has turned the corner in this department? His walk rate of 2.1 per nine was on-par with the 2.2 he has done throughout his big league career. There’s no real change there and with a 3.66 FIP on the season, he can consider some of those runs he gave up as unlucky.
Manaea heads into 2022 in his final season before reaching free agency. He’s not a long term commitment but could end up as one if the Mets were to feel satisfied with his performance. Add in the fact that he’s a lefty, Manaea feels all too great of a fit.
I can’t imagine, as a one-year option only, the price would be exceptionally high. Sure, it’s going to cost something good. The same reasons he’s a fit for the Mets could be said about most any other club.
Manaea fits in with the thought that this year’s offseason won’t be heavily focused on completely transforming the Mets but setting them up for more success the season after. I’m beginning to feel this is exactly what we have in store for us. One big free agent splash plus a couple of other moves to potentially last beyond 2022 is a safer route than throwing a lot of big money at multiple players.
The Mets probably only have one major trade in them this offseason without completely decimating the farm system. Manaea isn’t the kind of pitcher that’ll do a whole lot to hurt your club’s future.
With questions about everyone in the rotation, the Mets need to find innings from proven big league starters. Manaea doesn’t guarantee a championship. He can, however, inch the needle a little closer.