Baty, Scott optioned to Triple-A; Narváez DFA'd

May 31st, 2024

NEW YORK -- The Mets turned over a significant chunk of their roster Friday with a series of moves ranging from the inevitable to the somewhat surprising.

The club optioned infielder and starting pitcher to Triple-A Syracuse while calling up infielder and reliever . In addition, the team acquired catcher for cash in a trade with the Yankees and designated for assignment.

Baty’s struggles land him in Triple-A
The move to option Baty was a long time coming, as Mets officials have spoken for weeks about the awkward roster fit of having two full-time third basemen in Baty and Mark Vientos but no backup middle infielder. Iglesias fixes that at the expense of Baty, who hit .225/.304/.325 with four home runs over 49 games this season.

With a run of left-handed opposing pitchers on their schedule, including likely four in their next six games, the Mets did not expect to have much playing time available for Baty. He will instead head back to Triple-A with an eye toward continued improvement of both his offensive and defensive consistency.

“Not an easy decision,” manager Carlos Mendoza said. “But it’s time for him to go down there and continue to get some playing time, continue to get reps, continue to develop, and then he’ll be back here. And we told him that.”

Without Baty around, Vientos should receive a long look as the everyday third baseman.

Iglesias, 34, had a June 1 out in his contract, according to a source, meaning the Mets risked losing him if they did not add him to the roster now. The surehanded infielder raked at Syracuse for most of May, hitting .310/.341/.440 through last Saturday’s play, though Iglesias was in an 0-for-12 skid prior to his callup.

When Triple-A manager Dick Scott delivered the news to Iglesias, he was emotional. The 11-year Major League veteran had not played at the highest level since 2022 with the Rockies.

“It’s been tough for me and my family, but it’s totally in the past,” Iglesias said after arriving in Queens. “I’m very excited today. I feel like a rookie right now.”

Scott goes down… for now
The move to option Scott came as more of a surprise, considering the rookie pitcher’s 3.90 ERA through five starts. But the Mets have been using a six-man rotation, which was no longer going to be viable with a series of three off-days surrounding their London Series games in early June. Scott, as a 24-year-old rookie whose workload the club is looking to limit anyway, was the logical choice to go down.

“He’s a big league pitcher,” Mendoza said. “The way he’s handled himself here, the performance and things like that -- it’s nothing more than where we’re at on the schedule. Off-days coming up here, we don’t need a six-man rotation. We needed a bullpen arm. He’ll be back up here, and he understood that.”

The addition of Núñez brings the Mets back to a fully stocked, eight-man bullpen.

As for Scott, his next logical chance at a callup will come at some point during New York’s stretch of nine consecutive games from June 11-19. If not then, the team might wait until its run of 17 games in 17 days leading into the All-Star break.

A temporary change behind the plate
Torrens gives the Mets a new catching option alongside Tomás Nido, at least until starting backstop Francisco Alvarez (torn ligament in left thumb) returns in mid-June. Narváez had struggled throughout his Mets tenure, batting .154/.191/.185 in 28 games this season.

The move is an aggressive one, considering Alvarez may only be a week or two away from a return and, once he does come back, the Mets will have to make a choice between Torrens and Nido as his backup. But club officials believed it worthwhile to upgrade from Narváez to Torrens in the interim, despite the fact that the team will eat about $4.5 million in Narváez’s remaining salary.

Torrens, who had an .807 OPS in 30 games at the Yankees’ Triple-A Scranton affiliate, is regarded as a solid defensive catcher with some right-handed pop.

“There’s always competition,” Mendoza said. “We thought that there was an opportunity here to get a player in Luis Torrens that was going to make our roster a little bit better, and we made the move.”