Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Mets bullpen gets thinner as Joely Rodriguez signs free agent deal with Red Sox

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The first of the Mets’ free agents is officially headed elsewhere.

Lefty reliever Joely Rodriguez signed a one-year contract with the Red Sox on Wednesday, the team announced, with a club option for 2024. The deal includes $2 million in guaranteed money plus incentives, The Post’s Jon Heyman reported, along with a $4.25 million option for the second year.

The Mets were not expected to retain Rodriguez, but his departure only emphasizes the work they will have to do to rebuild their bullpen this offseason. Closer Edwin Diaz, who re-signed on a five-year, $102 million deal this month, and Drew Smith are the only relievers under contract and certain to be in the Mets’ bullpen in 2023. Fellow relievers Adam Ottavino, Seth Lugo, Trevor May and Trevor Williams are all free agents.

Rodriguez, a lively presence in the clubhouse, landed in Queens after a spring training trade this year that sent reliever Miguel Castro to the Yankees. As the only full-time lefty in the bullpen, Rodriguez posted a 4.47 ERA with 57 strikeouts and 26 walks in 50 ¹/₃ innings. The 31-year-old was removed from the Mets’ wild-card series roster after Game 1 with a shoulder injury.

Joely Rodriguez posted a 4.47 ERA with 57 strikeouts and 26 walks in 50 1/3 innings last season for the Mets.
Joely Rodriguez posted a 4.47 ERA with 57 strikeouts and 26 walks in 50 1/3 innings last season for the Mets.
USA TODAY Sports

The Mets announced Wednesday they have signed a pair of pitchers, left-hander Zach Muckenhirn and right-hander Denyi Reyes, to minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training.

The 27-year-old Muckenhirn is a reliever who spent 2022 at the White Sox’s Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte, posting a 3.11 ERA with 56 strikeouts and 23 walks in 55 innings. The former Orioles farmhand has yet to make his MLB debut.

Reyes, 26, made his big-league debut this year with the Orioles, recording a 2.35 ERA in three games (one start) with three strikeouts and a walk in 7 ²/₃ innings. The former Red Sox prospect has a career 3.29 ERA across seven seasons in the minor leagues, making 84 starts and pitching in 129 games overall.

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