The New York Mets boosted their rotation Sunday when they signed veteran lefty Sean Manaea to a two-year, $28 million contract. Jon Heyman at the Post was first with the story, and added that Manaea’s deal includes an opt-out after 2024.
Manaea spent last season with the San Francisco Giants and posted a 4.44 ERA in 37 games (ten starts). He was demoted to the bullpen after early struggles, but started throwing a sweeper and saw instant improvement. Manaea’s ERA for the last two months of the season was a much-improved 2.87. He also reclaimed his spot in the rotation.
In addition to the Giants, Manaea has also pitched for the Oakland A’s and San Diego Padres. He pitched a no-hitter for Oakland in 2018 before missing most of 2019 recovering from shoulder surgery.
So what does that mean for Sean Manaea and the Mets? Well, at least for now, he should project to be a mid-to-back end of the rotation arm behind Kodai Senga and Luis Severino. His mid-90s fastball pairs well with the sweeper and changeup, and perhaps pitching coach Jeremy Hefner can develop a fourth pitch.
It’s also a great deal for the Mets financially. Worst case scenario, Sean Manaea doesn’t work out in Flushing and team president David Stearns moves him at the trade deadline. Or maybe he finds a home in the bullpen as a multi-inning reliever like he was in San Francisco.
Furthermore, this is the strategy the Mets should follow with Yoshinobu Yamamoto off the table. Instead of chasing the big fish, plug in veteran arms that can eat some innings and otherwise stay healthy. Sean Manaea has been generally durable since his shoulder surgery, and truly has the potential to thrive with the Mets.