UPDATE (10:40 a.m. ET): Porcello and the New York Mets reportedly agreed to a one-year contract worth $10 million.
ORIGINAL STORY: Rick Porcello’s walk year could have gone a little better.
In 2019, the final season of his contract with the Boston Red Sox, Porcello was an absolute mess, finishing 14-12 with a 5.52 ERA. He was erratic, and the only thing he could be depended on was taking the ball every fifth day — an important quality, indeed, but a tough silver lining to keep in perspective when he was getting shelled.
As such, his free-agency value likely took a hit, and he knows it. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman on Wednesday shared the latest on Porcello.
Rick Porcello has a 3-year offer but inclination seems to be to fo a 1-year deal and reset. Very dependable pitcher. Has qualified for 11 straight era titles (162 plus innings)
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 12, 2019
This makes plenty of sense, and you don’t have to look far to find pitchers who have benefited from this approach. Drew Pomeranz, after a tough 2018 with the Red Sox, took a one-year deal with the San Francisco Giants, pitched fine enough and got moved to the Milwaukee Brewers at the deadline, then was simply dominant out of the bullpen the remainder of 2019. He spun that performance into a four-year, $34 million contract with the San Diego Padres last month.
Porcello won the American League Cy Young in 2016 and has had plenty of solid years as a middle of the rotation arm. If he secures a one-year deal and rebounds in 2020, the 30-year-old (who will turn 31 later this month), could position himself to get a more lucrative, longer-term deal next offseason.