Mets acquire left-handed reliever in rare trade with Yankees

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In a rare trade with their Crosstown rivals, the Mets decided to acquire a much-needed left-handed helper in their bullpen.

On Sunday, April 3, the New York Post reported that the Mets were trading reliever for reliever with the Yankees. Miguel Castro will travel to the Bronx in exchange for Joely Rodriguez.

The Yankees acquired Rodriguez and Joey Gallo from the Texas Rangers before last season’s trade deadline. Rodriguez, 30, posted a 2.84 ERA, 3.01 FIP and 8.1 strikeouts per nine innings in 21 appearances with the Yankees during 2021.

Rodriguez throws a fastball and sinker that averages 94 mph. According to Baseball Savant, the southpaw ranks in the 97th percentile in chase rate and the 89th percentile in barrel percentage. However, Rodriguez has struggled with his command in the past, averaging four walks per nine innings for his career. But the Yankees managed to reduce his walk rate after acquiring him before last year’s trade deadline.

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Rodriguez will help stabilize a right-handed heavy bullpen with the Mets, whose only left-handers included Chasen Shreve and Alex Claudio prior to this trade. Earlier in the spring, Rodriguez was dealing with a neck pinch, which affected his speed, but that issue has since resolved.

As for Castro, the right-hander had a career year with the Mets in 2021. Castro, 27, posted a 3.45 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 70.1 innings. Castro has devastating tricks when he can locate them. But he sometimes struggles to control his shots, averaging 5.5 BB/9 last season and 4.8 BB/9 in his career. Castro was expected to serve as a key middle reliever for the Mets this season, but the front office felt Rodriguez was better suited for the same role because of his southpaw.

It was just the 18th trade between New York teams in baseball history, and the first since 2018 when the Mets sent minor league infielder LJ Mazzilli to the Yankees for the league outfielder. minor Kendall Coleman.

Mets general manager Billy Eppler has a long-standing relationship with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. As a result, they were able to reach a deal to trade relief pitchers ahead of the 2022 regular season.

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