The Mets announced Thursday that they’ve claimed outfielder Aaron Altherr off waivers from the Giants and designated right-hander Tim Peterson for assignment in order to open a spot on the 40-man roster. Altherr, who is out of minor league options, will be added directly to the Mets’ roster after today’s game. He’ll step into a depleted outfield mix that is currently without Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo or Jeff McNeil, each of whom is on the injured list.
Altherr, 28, has spent the majority of his career with the division-rival Phillies, but Philadelphia ultimately had to designate him for assignment earlier this month due to a lack of playing time and his lack of options. He briefly landed with the Giants and appeared in all of one game with one plate appearance before his second DFA of the season. Given that the Mets have a whole outfield on the IL at the moment but none of the three is seriously injured, it’s possible that Altherr’s stay with his new organization will also be brief (though it’ll surely be longer than his Giants tenure).
Altherr has had an up-and-down career with the Phillies, showing great promise on multiple occasions but also battling frequent injuries that, at times, hampered his ability at the plate. He hit .241/.338/.489 through 161 plate appearances as a rookie in 2015 and .272/.340/.516 in 412 plate appearances in 2017. Altherr, however, posted miserable seasons at the plate in both 2016 (.587 OPS, 59 OPS+) and 2018 (.628, 68 OPS+), and he’s off to a 1-for-30 start so far in 2019. He possess an enticing blend of power and speed, but he’s also prone to strikeouts and prolonged slumps at the plate.
Peterson, also 28, has a 5.56 ERA and a 28-to-11 K/BB ratio through 34 MLB innings — 6 1/3 of which came earlier this season. An extreme fly-ball pitcher who doesn’t throw especially hard, Peterson hasn’t missed many bats at the MLB level but has a 3.90 ERA with 11.0 K/9 against 2.1 BB/9 in 60 innings at the Triple-A level. He currently has a 2.89 ERA and a 16-to-2 K/BB ratio in 18 2/3 innings with the Mets’ affiliate in Syracuse. He’s a pure reliever who also has a minor league option remaining beyond the 2019 season, so it’s possible another club could view him as some optionable bullpen candidate.