Trevor May is as close to the embodiment of the modern-day ballplayer as anyone in Major League Baseball.
The newest member of the New York Mets — who signed a two-year, $15.5 million deal earlier this week — dabbles in DJing, is a popular online streamer on Twitch, and is a force to be reckoned with on the popular video game, Fortnite.
Accessibility is what builds your audience as an online personality and it’s something that made the Mets his go-to destination in free agency this offseason considering just how transparent new team owner, Steve Cohen has been on social media.
“To be honest, one of the biggest things was kind of the buzz around Steve and the purchase of the team and the excitement of all the changes happening,” May said on Wednesday during his introductory press conference. “My immediate reaction was wanting to be a part of something like that.
“I’m a big accessibility guy. I like to be available to talk to fans… that’s my favorite part of doing this. I saw that from him. I couldn’t name another owner that’s as big of a fan of the team that he’s going to own… It’s kind of new, kind of unprecedented in Major League Baseball. It’s something that’s excitement and you want to match your owner’s excitement and that’s something I wanted to be a part of.”
While May is a 21st-century jack-of-all-trades, most importantly, the 31-year-old righty is a fireballing force that is about to bolster the Mets’ bullpen.
And there’s no better way to build an audience in Queens than by providing reliability within a bullpen that has struggled so mightily over the past few seasons.
“I feed off that stuff,” May said. “I love playing baseball because of the emotional connection the fans get with the players and their team. There isn’t a better place than New York than to get that connection.”
May is the first major signing made by Cohen and the Mets this offseason as Major League Baseball is on the precipice of its busiest portion of the offseason. The first few weeks of December are usually when most major free-agent deals are signed.
Considering his status as one of the top relievers available, May was not short of potential suitors. The vibe he got from Cohen and the Mets, though, made it an easy decision.
“We expected a lot of toes to be dipped in the water but no one to jump in,” he admitted. “We were surprised when the Mets went in waist-deep. It put a huge smile on my face.”
This after his representation had talks with nearly “half the league.”
“The Mets came in… and immediately the gap was huge.”
In New York, May will reunite with Jeremy Hefner, the Mets’ pitching coach who worked with him while with the Minnesota Twins as a scout and an assistant pitching coach.
“We grew a lot together, he as a coach and me as a player,” May said. “He’d give me a little bit of feedback… I would kind of bounce stuff off Jeremy… there was a lot of that. That was a huge reason why so many guys were making good adjustments.”
He also played a big part in resurrecting May’s career after he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017.
“I came back, my velocity wasn’t where it wanted to be and he kept preaching patience with me… We bonded a lot over that,” he said. “We made an immediate connection with that.”
It’s too early to peg where May’s niche will be within the Mets’ bullpen, but he has exhibited the versatility to pitch at any time — most notably pitching in each of the fifth-through-ninth innings last season.
His mission in New York is clear, regardless of position.
“Throwing meaningful outs, wherever those high-leverage situations are, my name is going to be in the conversation of getting called on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “You’re not going to surprise me and I take pride in my ability to be ready from the first pitch of the game to the end… I’m going to be ready whenever my name is called.”