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Mets Strengthen Infield Depth in Trade with Red Sox

The New York Mets currently have only two middle infielders on the active roster. On Friday, president of baseball operations David Stearns told WCBS 880 that this roster setup is “unconventional” and acknowledged it would have to be fixed soon. Well, “soon” seemingly meant Saturday, as the Mets acquired infielder Pablo Reyes from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for cash.

Boston sent Reyes to Triple-A in late April after designating him for assignment. Though he remained in the organization, Reyes no longer took up a 40-man roster spot. Because of this, New York can keep him in the minors and not use a 40-man spot on him.

Mets Acquire Pablo Reyes in Trade with Red Sox

The Mets need another middle infielder. If that indeed will be Reyes, the Mets will likely use him in a similar fashion to how they used Joey Wendle. Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil will see most of the playing time, and Reyes will fill in roughly once a week. The Mets designated Wendle, now with the Atlanta Braves, over a week ago and have not filled the void until now.

In 521 career at-bats, Reyes has hit .249/.309/.349 (78 OPS+). He lacks any sort of power, but produces solid walk and strikeout rates.

This was on full display last season with the Red Sox. In a career-high 185 plate appearances, Reyes hit .287/.339/.377 with a great strikeout rate (11.4 percent) and a roughly average walk rate (7.6 percent). Additionally, he would have ranked among the league leaders in Chase and Whiff rates if he had enough plate appearances to qualify.

Reyes’s New Role

Unfortunately, Reyes struggled mightily this season before the Red Sox designated him for assignment. In 21 games, he hit just .183/.234/.217. Though he struck out at almost a 30 percent clip, he continued to display solid Whiff and Chase rates.

While he has seen time all over the diamond, the Mets acquired Reyes likely just for infield duties. That said, it’s also possible that Reyes will serve as minor league depth while New York calls up an internal option. The Mets have players like Jose Iglesias, Rylan Bannon, Luke Ritter, and Mike Brosseau in Triple-A.

Whichever player the Mets call up, acquiring Reyes should preclude a move to make the roster more well-rounded. Brett Baty has served as the backup middle infielder after the team released Wendle. While the Mets would prefer Lindor and McNeil to stay in the lineup, one of the veterans represents a better roster fit.


Photo Credit: © David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports


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