Righties Tropeano, Barnes claimed by Mets

October 30th, 2020

NEW YORK -- The Mets bolstered their bullpen depth with a pair of acquisitions on Friday, claiming right-handers and from the Pirates and Angels, respectively.

Tropeano, 30, is a Long Island native and Stony Brook alumnus who grew up about an hour’s drive from Citi Field. A former starting pitcher for the Astros and Angels, Tropeano missed much of 2016-18 due to Tommy John surgery and other arm issues. He struggled in the Minors in 2019, but returned to the big leagues with the Pirates this summer, posting a 1.15 ERA over seven relief outings. Tropeano still uses a starter’s repertoire, relying heavily on a slider and splitter.

He is not as hard of a thrower as Barnes, 30, who sat in the mid-90s while producing a 5.50 ERA for the Angels this season. Barnes struck out 24 batters and walked just four in 18 innings.

Both pitchers provide depth for a Mets bullpen that ranked 18th in the Majors in ERA. Aside from lefty Justin Wilson and right-hander Jared Hughes, the Mets will return most of their key bullpen pieces in 2020, including Edwin Díaz, Seth Lugo and Jeurys Familia. But they figure to focus their offseason spending more on starting pitching and position players than additional relievers.

Earlier this month, the Mets made an additional waiver claim, picking up infielder Robel García from the Reds. García last appeared in the Majors in 2019 with the Cubs, batting .208 with five homers and a .775 OPS in 80 plate appearances.