Very early on Sunday morning, news broke that the New York Mets struck a deal with an SF Giants lefty from the 2023 season. Veteran pitcher Sean Manaea agreed to join the Mets on a two-year, $28 million deal, per Jon Heyman of the New York Post.
New York Mets sign former SF Giants lefty to a two-year deal
The deal includes an opt-out after the first season. Manaea will join a rotation that includes Kodai Senga, Luis Severino, and José Quintana.
The Giants signed the left-handed pitcher to a very similar deal last offseason. He joined San Francisco on a two-year, $25 million pact. Manaea was coming off of a down season with the Padres in which he posted a 4.96 ERA across 30 appearances.
That deal gave him both the comfort of a guaranteed salary across two seasons and the ability to opt out after the first season to re-enter the market. Manaea's time in San Francisco got off to a bumpy start.
The eight-year veteran began the 2023 season in the rotation but struggled badly. He tallied a 7.96 ERA in eight appearances, including six starts, before he was relegated to the bullpen. The results were not much better in the early going and, at one point, he was appearing in non-leverage situations.
However, the tide did begin to turn and the results did improve by the middle of the season. Oddly, Manaea remained in the bullpen for much of the rest of the year despite better overall numbers. This includes a stretch of 20 straight games where he did not yield a home run.
Former Giants manager Gabe Kapler brought him back into the rotation to finish the season. That proved to be a nice move for Manaea as he recorded a 2.25 ERA in his final four starts down the stretch. His overall line included a 4.44 ERA, 3.90 FIP, 1.24 WHIP, 9.8 K/9, and a 3.05 SO/W ratio in 37 appearances.
It was a borderline case as to whether Manaea would opt out of his contract. His overall numbers did not necessarily merit it, but he finished the year on a high note. Sometimes, last impressions play a favorable role for players in free agency.
Of course, Manaea did opt out of his deal and there were reports that he was unhappy about his role in 2023. The veteran pitcher never showed that discontent publicly and was a positive presence in the Giants' clubhouse. His time with San Francisco did position to receive a slight increase in his annual salary while getting another chance to re-enter the market next offseason.