The Mets announced that four players — corner outfielder/first baseman José Martínez, utilityman José Peraza and right-handed pitchers Robert Stock and Corey Oswalt — have all cleared outright waivers. Each of that quartet elected free agency.
2021 was a completely lost season for Martínez, who tore the meniscus in his left knee in Spring Training and missed the entire year. He set out on a minor league rehab assignment in August but apparently wasn’t healthy enough to return to the big league level, as he didn’t play in either a major or minor league game after September 10.
Martínez kicked off his big league career with a couple very productive seasons with the Cardinals. He’s never been a strong defender at either first base or in the outfield, though, and his bat ticked down to around league average from 2019-20. Now 33 years old and coming off a lost season, he might be limited to minor league offers this winter. He should be an intriguing no-risk flier for some team, though, assuming an offseason of rest enables a full recovery from his knee issue.
Peraza was a one-time top prospect, but he’s settled into a utility role over the past couple seasons. An everyday middle infielder with the Reds during the early stages of his major league career, Peraza showed plus speed and bat-to-ball skills but was held back by an aggressive approach and lack of impact power. He hit .225/.275/.342 with the Red Sox in 2020 and posted only a marginally better .204/.266/.380 line over 154 plate appearances for the Mets this past season.
The 27-year-old Peraza still runs well and saw a fair amount of action at each of second and third base in Queens. He shouldn’t have much issue finding a minor league deal with a Spring Training invitation on the open market, but it never seemed likely the Mets would retain him on a projected $1MM arbitration salary.
Stock has bounced around over the past few seasons, playing for the Padres and Red Sox from 2019-20. He began the 2021 season with the Cubs but landed in New York on a waiver claim in June. Previously a full-time reliever, Stock started his three MLB outings this year but only tallied nine combined innings. He owns a 4.71 ERA in 72 2/3 big league frames going back to 2018.
Oswalt is a career-long Met, having been in the organization since they selected him in the 2012 draft. He tossed 64 2/3 innings of 5.85 ERA ball back in 2018 but hasn’t topped thirteen MLB innings in any season since then. Passed through waivers in February, Oswalt earned his way back to the majors in June but landed on the injured list with right knee inflammation after three outings. Like Martínez, Oswalt played in some rehab games in September but never returned to the big league active roster.