The Mets recently agreed to a minor league deal with veteran starter Trevor Cahill, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported. According to the righty’s transactions tracker at MLB.com, he has been assigned to the team’s Florida complex.
Cahill will presumably head to Triple-A Syracuse at some point, but Sherman notes that he’ll first need time to build into game shape. That’s no surprise, as he hasn’t pitched since last June. A member of the Pirates at the time, Cahill landed on the injured list with a left calf strain. He was quickly transferred to the 60-day IL and didn’t return, quietly hitting free agency at the end of the year.
Before the injury, Cahill made nine appearances (including eight starts) for the Bucs. He managed just a 6.57 ERA over 37 innings, striking out a below-average 19.3% of opposing hitters. The sinkerballer induced grounders at a typically robust 55.2% clip, though, and he’s been excellent at keeping the ball in the yard throughout his career.
Cahill doesn’t throw hard or miss many bats, and his results have been inconsistent in recent years. Yet the 12-year big league veteran has continued to earn opportunities as a depth arm, having reached the majors each season since 2009. After an early run as a rotation stalwart with the A’s and Diamondbacks, Cahill has suited up for eight different clubs over the past seven seasons.
He’s a perfectly sensible veteran depth option for the Mets, who have taken some hits to their star-studded rotation. Jacob deGrom has still yet to pitch recovering from the stress reaction that arose in his throwing shoulder late in Spring Training. He is throwing but not yet ready for a minor league rehab assignment, and a specific timeline is still unclear. (Jon Heyman of the Post noted yesterday that he’s not likely to be available until some point in July). Making matters worse, New York just lost co-ace Max Scherzer for six-to-eight weeks because of an oblique strain.
Tylor Megill is also on the injured list because of biceps inflammation, although the prognosis seems more promising there. Anthony DiComo of MLB.com tweeted last night that Megill is tentatively expected to play catch today, his first time throwing since hitting the IL a week ago. If all goes according to plan, it doesn’t seem the 26-year-old is in for too long an absence.
For the moment, New York is set to rely on a primary starting five of Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker, David Peterson and Trevor Williams. That’s a solid group — particularly for a team down three of its top arms — but New York has already had to call on their depth options and the minor league ranks have thinned out. Further rotation injuries could put the organization in a precarious spot, so they’ll add Cahill as an insurance option.