Pitcher Michael Wacha is one of the best unsigned players left in free agency and, alongside Zack Greinke, is certainly the best pitcher available. He has been in the league since 2013, and it's hard to believe that ten years have already flown by. He is an effective pitcher when he's healthy. Where could he land?
Wacha is 31-years-old and still has a lot left in the tank. 2022 was an quite the comeback story for him, when he posted an 11-2 record with a 3.22 ERA, 104 strikeouts, and 1.12 WHIP. His 11 wins marked the first time since 2017 with the Cardinals that he reached double digits. Using his changeup elevated his performance, and he controlled his mechanics at a better rate than his career norm has been.
During this trip through free agency, Wacha most likely won't return to Boston, and he shouldn't. Boston doesn't look like contenders coming into the new season. Yes, they brought back Devers, but Wacha needs to play somewhere where he can make the playoffs or go for a championship.
The Blue Jays would have a deadly rotation if they were to add Wacha to the No. 5 spot in place of Yusei Kikuchi and Mitch White. He will need health on his side if he is to succeed in Toronto but he's missed starts in every season since 2017, a minor concern.
The Yankees have a high chance to add Wacha to their rotation, especially since Frankie Montas will be out for the first month of the season due to shoulder inflammation. There's a similarity between the two pitchers. Throughout Wacha's career, injuries have been a significant factor in his production. He's had several shoulder problems.
Wacha is certainly going to be looking for a larger deal than the one-year, $7M deal he signed with the Red Sox entering the 2022 season. A multi-year pact is likely in the near future for him.
In 2013, he received the NLCS MVP for his performance against the Los Angeles Dodgers, allowing one run and eight hits in his first 21 postseason innings pitched. Wacha went on become an All-Star in 2015.
As Spring Training nears, Wacha is going to be feeling an increased sense of urgency in finding a home for the upcoming season and beyond. The Blue Jays have a spot ready for him in their rotation.