1:45PM: The Mets are no longer candidates to sign Wilson, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter link).
FEB 15, 8:46AM: The Yankees appear to me “moving toward a deal” with Wilson, per Jon Heyman of the MLB Network (via Twitter). Wilson would fit well as a third southpaw to slot in ahead of closer Aroldis Chapman and setup man Zack Britton.
FEB 14: The Yankees are “in serious talks” with free agent reliever Justin Wilson, reports Robert Murray of FanSided (Twitter link). Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reported yesterday the sides had been in contact.
If they were to come to terms on a deal, it’d mark a return to the Yankees for Wilson, for whom he pitched in 2015. Wilson had a productive season, but they sent him to Detroit for Luis Cessa and Chad Green at year’s end. The veteran southpaw has generally remained productive since that trade.
Over the past five seasons, Wilson has worked to a 3.48 ERA with a strong strikeout rate (28.5%), albeit with a bit of an elevated walk percentage (11.4%). It was more of the same in 2020 for Wilson, who managed a 3.66 ERA/3.92 SIERA with fairly typical strikeout and walk numbers for the crosstown Mets. Now 33 years old, Wilson has maintained his 95+ MPH average fastball velocity and continues to induce swings and misses at a decent clip.
The Yankees’ bullpen looks strong, as has become typical in the past few years, but could stand to add some left-handed help Wilson would provide. Aside from closer Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton is the only southpaw reliever on New York’s 40-man roster.