Mets Sign Trevor May to Bolster Bullpen
The Mets agreed to a deal Tuesday with a free-agent right-handed pitcher named Trevor — not Trevor Bauer, the National League Cy Young Award winner, but Trevor May, one of the better relievers in the majors as a setup man for the Minnesota Twins.
A baseball official with knowledge of the deal confirmed the agreement but spoke on condition of anonymity because May must first pass a physical exam. The deal will be for two years, according to ESPN.
May, 31, had a 3.86 earned run average in 24 games for the Twins last season, with 38 strikeouts in 23 ⅓ innings. Since returning from Tommy John surgery in 2018, he is one of only 10 active pitchers with at least 100 relief appearances, an E.R.A. below 3.20 and at least 12 strikeouts per nine innings.
A starter throughout the minors and early in his major league career, May has more pitches than the typical reliever. He abandoned his curveball last season, using fewer fastballs, more changeups and twice as many sliders as before. The combination helped him fan 14.7 hitters per nine innings, the best figure of his six seasons with the Twins.
May has also cultivated a wide following outside baseball as a streamer for Luminosity, with 178,000 followers on Twitch. He also hosts a podcast and founded a company in Seattle that sells artwork inspired by the gaming world.
In May — who worked with the pitching coach Jeremy Hefner before the Mets hired him from Minnesota last year — the Mets add another power arm to a deep group of right-handed relievers that also includes Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo, Brad Brach and Jacob Barnes, who was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels last month.
Under their new owner, Steven A. Cohen, the Mets plan to be aggressive in free agency, which is off to a typically sluggish start. A new wave of free agents will hit the market on Wednesday night, the deadline for teams to offer contracts to players eligible for salary arbitration.
The Mets must decide whether to retain or non-tender the left-hander Steven Matz and the right-hander Robert Gsellman, two homegrown pitchers who struggled last season. Matz was 0-5 with a 9.68 E.R.A., while Gsellman had no record and a 9.64 E.R.A.
Bauer, who led the N.L. with a 1.73 E.R.A. for the Cincinnati Reds, is the best starter of a thin free-agent group. The market is deeper elsewhere, with catchers J.T. Realmuto and James McCann, outfielders George Springer, Marcell Ozuna, Michael Brantley and Jackie Bradley Jr., infielders D.J. LeMahieu, Justin Turner, Didi Gregorius and Marcus Semien and closers Brad Hand and Liam Hendriks.