Wacha signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Rays on Friday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The Rays' reputation is such that it's generally safe to assume that if they want a player, he's probably better than he seems. In Wacha's case, his 6.62 ERA in 34 innings for the Mets last season came with a solid set of peripherals, as he struck out 23.7 percent of opposing batters while walking a career-low 4.5 percent. He did also see his groundball rate plummet from 48.0 percent in 2019 to 35.5 percent in 2020, however. Still, there's enough there to suggest that he should have a decent chance to carve out a successful season as a back-end starter or in whatever creative role the innovative Rays elect to deploy him.
Wacha (1-4) allowed four runs on six hits and struck out four in six innings in a loss to the Rays on Wednesday. Homers by Joey Wendle and Randy Arozarena accounted for three of the four runs against Wacha, who was not particularly sharp Wednesday and has now been charged with a loss in each of his last four decisions. The 29-year-old righty has likely made his last appearance of the season -- if so, he finishes with an unsightly 6.62 ERA and 1.56 WHIP across 34 innings and eight appearances.
Wacha will start Wednesday against the Rays, Tim Healey of Newsday reports. Wacha made his previous appearance out of the bullpen, but he's a starter by trade and will return to that role Wednesday, pushing Steven Matz into a bullpen role. He hasn't had a particularly good time in his first and potentially only season as a Met, posting a 6.75 ERA and 1.68 WHIP in 28 innings of work.
Wacha allowed one run on five hits with three strikeouts and zero walks over four innings out of the bullpen Wednesday against the Phillies. The 29-year-old figured to be in the mix to start this weekend against the Braves, but he worked in long relief Wednesday with Jacob deGrom (hamstring) pitching only two innings. It was Wacha's best outing of the season since he gave up one run across five frames during his season debut.
Wacha is available out of the bullpen Sunday against the Blue Jays, Justin Toscano of The Bergen Record reports. The 29-year-old lined up to start Tuesday at Philadelphia, but New York will instead push up the rest of the rotation thanks to Monday's scheduled off day. Wacha could return to the rotation when the Mets need a fifth starter next weekend against the Braves.