Mets add former nemesis Teheran to patch rotation

April 5th, 2024

NEW YORK -- With their rotation reeling due to injuries and weather issues early this season, the Mets made a move on Friday to strengthen that unit, signing right-hander to a Major League contract. Although the Mets did not announce terms of the deal, a source said it's a prorated $2.5 million contract with up to $450,000 in performance bonuses.

Teheran, 33, will go to work immediately with his new club. He was available out of the bullpen on Friday and is scheduled to start against his old team Monday when the Mets open a key four-game series in Atlanta.

"I'm really thinking it's just going out there and giving it my best," Teheran said. "Right now, I'm on this side, and obviously I want to give the team a chance to win."

A well-known Mets killer last decade, Teheran compiled 10 wins against the Mets over nine seasons with the rival Braves, ranking second only to Gio González in that category. From 2011-19, he produced a 2.98 ERA over 28 starts and a relief appearance against the Mets. The right-hander made two All-Star Games with Atlanta and won 77 games overall.

But Teheran missed nearly all of 2021 due to a right shoulder strain. He spent the following season in the Mexican, independent and Dominican Winter Leagues, doing enough to claw his way back to the Majors last year with the Brewers. Teheran subsequently spent this spring with the Orioles but opted out of his Minor League contract when he didn’t make the Opening Day roster. He then agreed to terms on a Major League deal with the Mets, whom he first considered joining over the offseason.

"You never know what's going to happen," Teheran said. "Right now, I'm happy to be here."

In New York, Teheran will fill a clear hole. With Kodai Senga and Tylor Megill both nursing shoulder strains, Max Kranick rehabbing a hamstring strain, David Peterson recovering from hip surgery and Joey Lucchesi struggling throughout Spring Training, the Mets have seen the erasure of nearly all their upper-level pitching depth. Team officials are not ready to bring top prospects Christian Scott, Mike Vasil and Dom Hamel to the big leagues, leaving the Mets without a full rotation at the Major League level.

"This is a guy that's been in the league for a long time," Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said. "Last year, he was a big addition for the Brewers. Right now, we're in a situation where we're down a couple of starters, and he provides that."

To make room on the roster for Teheran, the Mets designated right-hander for assignment.

Teheran threw four innings in a Grapefruit League game as recently as March 23, just before he opted out of his Orioles contract. He has since thrown bullpen sessions and live BPs on his own at home. During his debut in Atlanta on Monday, Teheran should be able to give the Mets around 70-75 pitches.

As a Met, Teheran will pair with Quintana as the most decorated Colombian pitchers in Major League history. Quintana (92) and Teheran (81) each have more career victories than every other Colombian-born pitcher combined (39).

"We are really good friends," Teheran said. "We've been in the league for a long time representing Colombia. I feel proud. This is the first time in our careers that we are in the same rotation. We'll see. We're going to have fun."