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Mets lose Baxter to waiver claim by Dodgers

ST. LOUIS -- Mets outfielder Mike Baxter was claimed off waivers by the Dodgers, the clubs announced on Thursday, contributing to a 40-man roster purge.

The Mets also lost left-hander Robert Carson to a waiver claim by the Angels, and outrighted right-hander Greg Burke and lefty Sean Henn off the roster. Their 40-man currently stands at 36 players.

Baxter, 28, will forever have a place in Mets lore for the catch he made to save Johan Santana's no-hitter in June 2012. A productive bench player and occasional starter prior to that night, Baxter broke his collarbone on the play and was never the same, batting .189 with a .553 OPS in 155 plate appearances this season. A Queens, N.Y., native, who grew up miles from Shea Stadium, Baxter said recently that he knew his time with the organization might be coming to an end.

"I just wish I had a better year," Baxter said in September. "I'm definitely frustrated with the way I played here, and it's out of my hands now."

Carson, 24, was a full-time starting pitcher until last season, when the Mets converted him to relief work. Though he performed reasonably well in his new role in the Minors, Carson struggled during multiple big league stints, posting a 6.82 ERA over 33 innings. That stat line included 11 home runs.

Burke, 31, struggled while yo-yoing between Triple-A Las Vegas and the Majors, working the kinks out of his relatively new submarine delivery. It is still possible that Burke, who posted a 5.68 ERA over 31 2/3 big league innings, could play a role in next year's bullpen, though he will also have the right to become a free agent.

Henn, 32, was on the 40-man roster only briefly, appearing in four games down the stretch. He is a big league veteran of the Yankees, Padres, Twins, Orioles and Mets, and is now a free agent.

With eight players on the 60-day disabled list and eight impending free agents, the Mets' 40-man roster now effectively stands at 36. Thursday's moves gave them room to add four unprotected prospects to the roster in advance of the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 12.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo.

New York Mets, Mike Baxter