Mets acquire Joely Rodriguez from Yankees for Miguel Castro

Miguel Castro Mets Yankees
Miguel Castro/D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets and Yankees hooked up for a rare cross-town trade on Sunday afternoon as a pair or relievers swapped boroughs.

Right-hander Miguel Castros is moving from the Mets to the Yankees while southpaw Joely Rodriguez is on his way to Queens, the team announced.

The move comes out of necessity for the Mets, who were in desperate need of a left-handed reliever for their bullpen after losing Aaron Loup in free agency to the Los Angeles Angels. Their current depth chart lists veteran Chasen Shreve and Alex Claudio as their only southpaw options out of the pen — neither providing bona fide crunchtime options for new manager Buck Showalter.

Rodriguez’s numbers don’t necessarily generate much excitement given his 4.61 career ERA, but he posted a 2.84 ERA over 21 appearances for the Bronx Bombers after being acquired by the Texas Rangers at the 2021 trade deadline. His chase rate was also in the 97th percentile of all pitchers last season at 34.6% (h/t Baseball Savant) while his barrel rate of 5% was in the 89th.

Joely Rodriguez
Joely Rodriguez/Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

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While Castro was a steady late-inning option of former Mets manager Luis Rojas — posting a 3.45 ERA with 77 strikeouts in 70.1 innings of work last season — he’s a free agent following the 2022 season while Rodriguez is under team control through 2025. 

The Yankees have an opportunity to continue developing Castro — whose whiff rate was in MLB’s 87th percentile last year — into a more dominant late-inning option in front of closer Aroldis Chapman while alleviating some of its log jam under its left-handed relieving depth chart. 

In the Bronx, manager Aaron Boone already has the likes of Wandy Peralta and Lucas Luetge competing for innings while fellow southpaw Zack Britton is on the 60-day IL while he recovers from elbow surgery.