The Mets announced that they’ve designated righty Drew Gagnon for assignment. His DFA opened a spot on the 40-man roster, allowing the Mets to select the contracts of shortstop Andres Gimenez, right-hander Jordan Humphreys, catcher Ali Sanchez and left-hander Thomas Szapucki. All four players are now protected from next month’s Rule 5 Draft.
Of the players added to the 40-man, Gimenez has generated the most prospect fanfare. Entering the 2019 season, he was ranked among the game’s top 50 prospects, but a poor showing in Double-A Binghamton has caused his stock to slip a bit. In 479 plate appearances, Gimenez hit just .250/.309/.387 with nine home runs. And while he stole 28 bases, he was also caught 16 times, underscoring a need to improve his efficiency. MLB.com still ranks him at the back end of the game’s top 100 prospects, but he’ll be in the hunt for a rebound season in 2020.
Gagnon was bombed in brief MLB action last year, falling victim to the leaguewide home run surge even more than most of his fellow pitchers (11 long balls in 23 2/3 innings). But he did show an 11.8% swinging-strike rate in the bigs, and over 88 2/3 innings in 15 starts in the hitter-friendly Triple-A International League, he worked to a 2.33 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9.
Reports out of South Korea this week suggested that Gagnon was working toward a deal with a KBO club. However, a source tells MLBTR that not only was Gagnon not moving toward a deal in Korea — he hasn’t even engaged in any conversations with Korean clubs about a potential deal. The Mets will have a week to trade Gagnon, attempt to pass him through outright waivers or place him on release waivers.