NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Mets aren’t playing well at the moment, and they’re five games under .500 with about a month left in the regular season.
In 2020, that means they’re still very much in the postseason hunt, so they went ahead and added some help at the trade deadline.
The Mets acquired infielder Todd Frazier and catcher Robinson Chirinos from the Texas Rangers on Monday, and they also made a trade with Baltimore for right-hander Miguel Castro. Texas receives two players to be named, and New York also will get $358,209 in the deal involving Texas plus $1 million if Frazier’s $5,575,000 option for 2021 is declined, which would cover the cost of his $1 million buyout. The cash is due Jan. 10.
The Orioles acquired minor league left-hander Kevin Smith and a player to be named or cash from the Mets.
“We’re not playing great baseball right now and we need to boost ourselves,” Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said. “So hopefully these players can give us that opportunity.”
The Rangers (12-21) and Mets (15-20) are both under .500, but the postseason race looks more forgiving in the National League. New York is bringing Frazier back after he hit 39 home runs for the Mets over two seasons in 2018 and 2019. He hit .241 with two homers in 31 games for Texas this year after signing with the Rangers in January.
“He can hit a home run, he can start a game at third base, he can start a game at first base, he can DH,” Van Wagenen said. “It shouldn’t be lost that we want Todd Frazier’s energy, to come in and bring some life, be a guy that can come in and remind people what having fun is all about and someone who has a history with a lot of the players on our team.”
Chirinos has hit .119 in 14 games this season and recently spent time on the injured list because of a sprained ankle.
Texas GM Jon Daniels said teams may have been even more reluctant to part with younger, cheaper talent this year.
“I think it was even more so this year, with the overall economic impact on the country and certainly on the economics of individual clubs,” he said. “So I think teams really factored in even more so than usual, which is saying something.”
The 25-year-old Castro has a strong fastball but has long struggled with his control. Castro is 1-0 with a 4.02 ERA in 16 games this season. His career record is 7-16 over 220 games, with all but two of those appearances out of the bullpen.
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