Yankees-Mets trade: New York teams swap relievers in first trade of MLB players since 2004

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The New York Yankees and Mets agreed to a trade on Sunday that saw them swap relievers, the teams announced. Right-hander Miguel Castro will join the Yankees while lefty Joely Rodríguez heads to the Mets.

Castro, 27 years old, is a well-traveled pitcher despite his relative youth. The Yankees will mark his fifth organization since he debuted in 2015. They spent the past season-plus with the Mets, accumulating a 3.52 ERA (116 ERA +) and a 1.78 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 79 innings pitched.

A free agent after the season, Castro will make more than $ 2.6 million this year. He’s predominantly a sinker-slider pitcher, with a fastball that averaged 98 mph last season. His slider, meanwhile, generated whiffs on 41 percent of the swings taken against it in 2021. Castro, it should be noted, ranked in the 93rd percentile in exit velocity against last season, indicating he did well at suppressing quality contact.

Rodríguez, 30, is on his third team since the start of last season. The Yankees originally acquired him as part of the Joey Gallo trade with the Rangers. Rodríguez made 21 appearances in pinstripes, amassing a 2.84 ERA (154 ERA +) and a 2.83 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 19 innings.

Rodríguez, who has four seasons of team control remaining, features an extreme release point thanks to his low slot and his crossfire delivery. He threw his mid-90s sinker and upper-80s changeup roughly 80 percent of the time last season, with the latter serving as his top bat-missing pitch. Rodríguez ranked in the 80th percentile of exit velocity, as well as in the 97th percentile in chase rate, suggesting he’s skilled at luring hitters out of the zone, usually on pitches located below the knees.

The Yankees and Mets seldom make trades. A pair of relievers also changed hands in December 2004, the last time the sides swapped big-league players. In that deal, the Mets sent lefty Mike Stanton to the Bronx in exchange for Félix Heredia.

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