The Orioles have acquired right-hander Gabriel Ynoa from the Mets in exchange for cash and designated catcher Francisco Pena for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster, per a team announcement. The move opens a spot on the Mets’ 40-man roster, which the team still needed to do in order to make the re-signing of Fernando Salas official.
The 23-year-old Ynoa made his MLB debut with the Mets this past season, tossing 18 1/3 innings with a 6.38 ERA. His 17-to-7 K/BB ratio, 49.2 percent ground-ball rate and average fastball velocity of 93.5 mph were all more encouraging numbers than the unsightly ERA in that small sample. In 154 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level this past season, Ynoa posted a 3.97 ERA with 4.5 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 48.8 percent grounder rate.
Ynoa ranked among the Mets’ top 20 prospects each year from 2012-15, with BA’s most recent report calling him a “control artist” and a potential fourth starter if he can make improvements to his secondary offerings. Also noted, though, was that while Ynoa has a knack for throwing strikes, he doesn’t hit his spot within the zone often enough, so honing his command could also be an area of focus moving forward.
“Our scouts feel he can develop into a Major League starting pitcher by developing a consistent breaking pitch,” said Orioles GM Dan Duquette of the newly acquired Ynoa. “We look forward to his contributions to the Orioles this season and beyond.”
Ynoa will give the Orioles some much-needed rotation depth beyond the quintet of Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy, Wade Miley and Ubaldo Jimenez. He has a minor league option remaining, which was likely a key factor for the Orioles, as there doesn’t look to be an immediate spot in the rotation for Ynoa, barring a spring injury to one of the previously listed rotation members. The 154 innings that Ynoa threw at Triple-A last season represent his only experience at that level, so it seems likely that he’ll head to Norfolk to open the season for further development. Should things pan out for Ynoa, he’ll be under club control through the 2022 season in Baltimore.
Pena, 27, appeared in 14 games and hit .200/.238/.275 across 43 plate appearances for the Orioles last season. He was expected to compete with Caleb Joseph for the backup catcher role this spring and may still do so if he clears waivers. The defensive-minded backstop was out of minor league options, which undoubtedly played a role in the Orioles’ decision to designate him. In parts of four Triple-A seasons (1188 plate appearances), Pena has displayed good power but struggled to get on base, as evidenced by his .248/.294/.453 batting line. He’s thrown out 32 percent base base thieves in his minor league career and routinely draws considerably above-average framing grades from Baseball Prospectus.
Feels like they gave up on him too quickly…Montero would’ve been a better choice.
Exactly. What a dumb trade. For once I’m going to be extremely critical of Sandy here and say that was a horrible move. Seriously, how incredibly stupid.
Here, I presume that “cash considerations” means that Duquette will buy coffee when he and Alderson get together in Florida? Because Ynoa was gone when the Salas deal was done…
What a dumb comment
Why thank you for your contribution to the discussion!
Do you really think BAL paid hundreds of thousands for the rights to the next guy the Mets would DFA?
You’re very welcome. It’s quite obvious I wasn’t referring to that, I was talking about your random coffee remark.
Yeah but why do you have to say that because it was actually quite amusing, he makes a point, and your just trying to stir up trouble which you have succeeded in doing.
Another good looking move (potentially) by DD and then O’s.
They really should have moved someone else. It isn’t that Ynoa has a high upside, but he shown some ability in AAA and he is still young. Salas obviously needed a spot, but I would have rather they dropped Gilmartin/Goedell. Both are getting older and still haven’t done much of anything at the major league level.
100% agree. A rare idiotic move by Alderson.
Gilmartin is rancid, as is Smoker.
Should have been Reynolds. No need for him. Mets have Reyes and Flores and Rivera and Gavin and soon Rosario and another year of Cabrera all light years better than Reynolds. I had high hopes for Reynolds but he didn’t pan out. Kelly was better than Reynolds and they cut him. There are always some utility bench guy available somewhere god forbid you need one, but g.y. Has potential and put up good numbers in the minors. The “cash” better be what was needed to sign Blevins and salas otherwise this was a pretty dumb move.
I think the Mets are trying to make him a super utility guy, so as long as he can hit. They started playing him in the outfield last season, which he never played before in his career, and he was halfway decent at it. Plus, Reynolds did put together some good at bats. If he can hit more consistently, he would be a nice cheap bench player.
I like him. He has excellent defensive skills. He just cant hit hit a curveball like the other minor leaguers.
Dumb move. What happens if one of the other starter/relievers go down? They couldnt do this at the end of Spring Training? And for what, cash? The Cheapons dont have enough?
There was/is some mild upside for this guy as a swing relief/starter.. Sandy will regret this (as he so often does).
It was either cash or else losing him on waivers
How abt a trade for a low-level prospect? Maybe they could’ve passed him thru waivers if not-needed now.
I’m guessing they called around and was the best offer they received. And if he got to waivers there is virtually no way he passing through. .
They definitely should have looked to waive someone else not as promising, but the weak haul is probably due to the rest of the league knowing he was due to be waived. Not many teams are going to be willing to trade much for a guy who is going to get waived unless they know a division rival has serious interest in them. And even then, you’re assuming that either you’re pitching coach can help Ynoa or that he’d be a major threat on your division rival.
For once I actually agree with you, and disagree with Sandy.
Wasn’t Ynoa at one point being talked about as a key piece (but not a headliner) in a deal for a star (or at least a package deal for a really good player)? If so, it’s been a steep decline in terms of value for him.
That was just Mets fans thinking he’d be part of a big deal.
Just with the Orioles need. Another pitcher with the 6 ERA
Come on Mets fans… Ynoa isn’t all that. Doesn’t have great secondary pitches and his fastball got knocked around nicely at the MLB-level.
That said, good luck, Gabriel.
We have minor league SP depth … plus … I think the Mets are still looking to bring in a veteran SP on a minor league contract…
Good move for the Orioles. Picked up a potential rotation piece (emphasis on potential) for cash. Pena was going to have an uphill battle with Joseph for the back up catcher role. Since he is out of options, this just moves forward what probably would happen. Maybe when the Orioles won their arbitration case with Joseph, Pena became more expendable. Doubt he clears waivers. Chance Sisco is the future in Baltimore behind the plate…unless they bring back Wieters for cheap.
Really not a wise move at all. Young pitcher with potential, billed as a good prospect. This was obviously done in haste, with not enough “thinking it through” involved.
As they say…
Ready, Fire, Aim!!!
Sandy moves sooooooooooooooooooo slow and then when reality hits him he makes panic moves.
This is a weird move for the Mets. Montero would have been a better candidate to be released, or even Matt Reynolds. With his young age, team control, having a minor league option remaining and potential upside (having a sub-4 ERA in very-hitter-friendly PCL) this move is a bit surprising. At the very least could Sandy not have gotten a couple of low A-ball level prospects in return to add depth at 1B and C for the future? I’m not sure how much “cash” the Mets will be receiving but maybe getting some low level low-A-Ball players could have enhanced the farm system.
The Charming Guy
Serious question folks where do the Mets plan to play Reyes? Has he been mentioned for CF?
Wright is a part-time player now, at best. Reyes should get 1-2 starts per week at 3B. Flores will likely be the platoon for Duda v. Lefties, though I can see him getting some looks at 3B if needed. Reyes could also play a bit of SS (maybe every other week to give Cabrera a break) if needed, but he has limited range so it’d be a less than ideal fit. I can see Reyes playing 2-3 times per week in the infield. There were talks of him possibly playing the outfield, though I don’t think that’d be a great idea….just my feeling, no real data to back it up yet.
I wanted Ynoa, Duda, Dom Smith, 1 packaged to Chisox for Abreu
Very bad trade for all parties