Trevor Williams was on the Mets’ radar last winter as a potential low-cost arm with a solid upside who could help in the rotation or bullpen.
He signed a one-year deal with the Cubs for $2.5 million.
Now the Mets will get a chance to find out if the 29-year-old righty can help them, after acquiring him Friday from the Cubs with Javier Baez in a trade for Pete Crow-Armstrong.
Williams, who went 4-2 with a 5.06 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in 13 appearances for the Cubs, was assigned to Triple-A Syracuse.
“He’s always been a guy that takes the ball,” acting general manager Zack Scott said before the Mets’ 6-2 loss to the Reds at Citi Field. “He’s going to give you innings — he’s always been an innings-eater type of guy. He’s not afraid, he is going to attack guys and quite honestly he’s got flexibility, he’s got a [minor league] option, which is a benefit to us and a curse to him.”
Williams was told by Scott to be prepared, given the alarming number of injuries the Mets have sustained within the rotation this season. There is also the issue of pitchers reaching questions about workload following last season’s pandemic shortened season.
Last week, the Mets acquired veteran lefty Rich Hill from the Rays to bolster the rotation. The 41-year-old Hill is scheduled to start his second game for the Mets on Saturday.
“You either look for an opportunity to raise your ceiling or raise your floor and those kind of moves for Hill and Williams, those two raise your floor where as a Baez is to raise your ceiling,” Scott said.
The Mets had a full rotation for the first time in weeks after Carlos Carrasco returned from the injured list Friday; Marcus Stroman, Taijuan Walker, Tylor Megill and Hill are the other components. Williams provides an option other than the demoted Jerad Eickhoff for the next-in-line role.
The need for another starter became more pronounced when Jacob deGrom was shut down from throwing Friday, which will push his potential return into September.
Williams pitched for the Pirates from 2016-20. He had his best season in 2018, when he went 14-10 with a 3.11 ERA in 31 starts.
The franchise will induct Ron Darling, Jon Matlack and Edgardo Alfonzo into the Mets Hall of Fame during a pregame ceremony Saturday. The three new additions — the first since 2013 — will bring the total membership in the Mets Hall of Fame to 30. In addition, Al Jackson will be posthumously honored with the Mets Hall of Fame achievement award for contributions to the organization. The group was originally scheduled to be celebrated in 2020, but the ceremony was postponed due to the pandemic.
In a flurry of roster moves, pitchers Akeem Bostick and Nick Tropeano were designated for assignment and Sean Reid-Foley was transferred to the 60-day injured list. Eickhoff and Roel Ramirez were assigned outright to Triple-A Syracuse.
The Mets have used 56 players through 101 games this year, tying a franchise record for most players used in a season. The MLB record for most players used in a season is 67 by the Mariners in 2019. The Mariners entered Friday with 57 players used, the most in the major leagues.