The 31-year-old RHP, whose first 11 years in MLB included stints with the Detroit Tigers (2009-14) and Boston Red Sox (2015-19), fortifies the back end of a Mets rotation after a resume that includes the 2016 AL Cy Young Award and a 2018 World Series Championship.
Looking to bounce back after sporting a 14-12 record and career-worst 5.52 ERA on the 2019 season, the No. 27 overall pick in the 2007 MLB draft from West Orange (N.J.) Seton Hall Prep embraces an opportunity with the Mets.
"What made me want to come here and sign with the Mets, first and foremost, was watching from afar the guys they have and the resiliency they showed last year -- they had a great year," Porcello said in a video interview published Wednesday by the Mets. "I'm looking at Pete Alonso. (Jacob) deGrom won another Cy Young. There's a great foundation and core of really talented players here, and they were right there at the end -- right on the cusp of getting into the playoffs.
"And once you get your foot in the door in the postseason, anything can happen. And I've been fortunate enough to experience some postseason baseball over prior years in my career, and there's nothing like it, and that's one of the most important things to me is winning. And this is what I saw, in my opportunities, as one of the best opportunities to do that.
"I grew up a Mets fan. I live an hour away, still live an hour away in New Jersey, I train there, my entire family's there. To be able to come home and be part of this organization is something that I've dreamed about my entire life. And now, that dream is true and I couldn't be more grateful for it."
The Mets went 86-76 to finish in third place of the NL East, coming up short despite a ferocious second-half run for the second NL Wild Card spot. But with a pair of 2019 NL award winners in Alonso (Rookie of the Year Award) and deGrom (second straight Cy Young Award) to lead the way, Porcello felt that the Mets have the right pieces. Add in a rotation that includes RHP Noah Syndergaard, RHP Marcus Stroman, LHP Steven Matz and fellow free agent RHP Michael Wacha, and Porcello is optimistic about how the Mets stack up.
"I'm extremely excited to pitch along these guys," Porcello said. "I'm sure there's a lot I can learn from them. Hopefully, with some of my experiences, we can kind of feed off each other and get better. You look at deGrom, Noah and Marcus and then you've got those front-three guys and myself and Michael and Steven -- the sky's the limit for us. We've got the talent, a lot of guys that I've seen, on the outside looking in, that want to work hard, that want the ball and that's what it's all about -- especially as a starting pitcher. You've got to want to be out there every fifth day. From what I've seen from these guys, that's what they want to do and I'm honored to be a part of it."
Under the direction of first-time manager Carlos Beltran, who with general manager Brodie Van Wagenen brought on pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and assistant pitching coach Jeremy Accardo, Porcello hopes to hit the ground running once pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training in February.
"I know Carlos from competing against him and I definitely know him well," Porcello said. "He deposited an inside fastball I threw him, probably, 450 feet to right field one year and he's a fantastic competitor. You know how smart of a hitter he is, just by how he takes pitches and his game plan and his plate coverage. ... So he's honestly one of the smarter -- if not the smartest hitter -- I've ever faced.
"And now, to have the opportunity to play for him and have the opportunity to develop a relationship with him, I'm excited to see him in a different aspect. I'm really excited about it, so I'm really looking forward to playing for Carlos and, most importantly, looking forward to going out there and winning ballgames for him."