McWilliams agreed to a one-year, major-league contract with the Mets on Friday. Seeing McWilliams get a major-league deal is something of a surprise, as he's yet to make his big-league debut. He spent last season with the Rays and advanced as far as the team's taxi squad but never made the big-league roster. In 44 innings at the Triple-A level in 2019, he struggled to an 8.18 ERA. It would seemingly be a surprise if he winds up in the rotation to start his Mets career.
McWilliams was added to the Rays' active roster Sunday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The hard-throwing right-hander had been at the team's alternate training site in Port Charlotte since the start of the regular season. McWilliams made it as far as Triple-A Durham last season, but he was lit up there to the tune of an 8.18 ERA and 2.02 WHIP across 44 innings, although his 4.78 FIP implies he pitched somewhat better than those numbers indicate.
McWilliams is expected to be a part of Tampa Bay's 60-man roster pool, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The 24-year-old made his Triple-A debut in 2019, but he largely struggled with an 8.18 ERA, 2.02 WHIP and 43:17 K:BB over 44 innings. There's potential for McWilliams to make his big-league debut during 2020's shortened season, but his inconsistency in the minors means it's far from a sure bet.
McWilliams was returned to the Rays on Sunday, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports. The Rule 5 pick struggled through four appearances this spring, posting a 15.43 ERA, 3.00 WHIP and 2:6 K:BB through 4.2 innings. As such, the Royals opted to send McWilliams back to the Rays rather than keep him on their 25-man roster all season. The 23-year-old will likely report to Double-A to open the season.
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