Former Athletics' starter signs free agent deal with the Mets

Former Athletics' starter Sean Manaea signs two-year deal with NY Mets
San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

Sean Manaea, former Oakland Athletic, has signed a free agent deal with the NY Mets, according to Jon Heyman of the NY Post. The deal is for two years and $28 million, and includes a player option for 2025.

It's strikingly similar to the deal Manaea got last winter, where he signed a two-year deal with the Giants for $25 million. That deal also included an opt out, which Manaea exercised and hit the free agent pool for the second consecutive season.

Manaea struggled in the first half of 2023. He pitched to a 5.49 ERA in 57.1 innings, losing his job as a starter along the way. Over the summer Manaea worked to add a sweeper to his arsenal and pitched well enough in relief that he ended up earning his starting job back toward the end of the year.

All told, Manaea ended up with a 4.44 ERA but a much better 3.90 FIP and struck out nearly 26% of the batters he faced. The lefty should slot into the Mets rotation in 2024 after they moved starters Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander at the trade deadline last summer. He'll compete for a spot with Tylor Megill, Adrian Houser, David Peterson, Joey Lucchesi, and Jose Butto.

It's a bit of a gamble for a Mets team that isn't expected to contend for a playoff spot in 2024, despite having one of the highest payroll figures in the league. Their CBT payroll figure should be well shy of the $374 million they ran in 2023, but it's still expected to be over $300 million.

Because this is the Mets' third consecutive year over the CBT threshold, they'll pay a 50% tax on everything over the $237 million cap, as well as an additional 60% surcharge due to being more than $60 million over. On top of that, the Mets will have one of their top draft picks dropped 10 spots in the draft. Which pick will depend on where they end up in the standings.