Rick Porcello said Monday that he had his "eyes set" on the Mets when free agency began, and he reportedly turned down longer and larger offers in order to make becoming a Met a reality.
MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone reported on Dec. 12 that Porcello could have signed a multi-year deal, according to people aware of his market, with Cerrone adding that the Mets guaranteed Porcello a spot in their rotation. Now, there are more details on what Porcello's market was.
Before signing a one-year deal with the Mets for $10 million, Porcello turned down "multiple multi-year offers," including one that was for three years, reports Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated. Verducci added that Porcello also turned down a one-year deal with the Blue Jays for $12 million that had the potential of becoming a two-year deal, and turned down a one-year offer for $14 million from another team.
"The Mets were the first one that called, even (as) kind of a small gesture because you get so many phone calls that day from different teams checking in," Porcello said on Monday. "It was something that kind of put me on alert. I had my eyes set on the Mets entering free agency."
A native of Morristown, NJ, Porcello also cited hometown comfort as one of the deciding factors when it came to why he chose the Mets.
Porcello, who will turn 31 years old on Dec. 28, had a rough year in 2019 for the Red Sox, with a 5.52 ERA (4.76 FIP) and 1.39 WHIP in 174.1 IP.
He explained on Monday that his struggles in 2019 were due to a host of issues, some of which dated back to how he prepared for the season after pitching deep into October as the Red Sox won the 2018 World Series.
As he looks to rebuild his value before potentially hitting the free agent market again after the 2020 season, Porcello will likely round out a rotation that is also expected to include Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Marcus Stroman.
The Mets also have Steven Matz (under control through the 2021 season) and Michael Wacha (who signed a one-year deal worth $3 million guaranteed) as rotation options.
When it comes to Porcello, he has been alternating strong years and down years since 2014, when he was still with the Tigers.
Porcello's ERA/FIP by year over the last six seasons:
2016: 3.15/3.40 (won Cy Young award)
In 2020, the Mets and Porcello will hope for the above trend to continue.