The Mets have designated outfielder Ender Inciarte for assignment, tweets Tim Healey of Newsday. The move clears an active roster spot for second baseman Jeff McNeil, who’d be on paternity leave. New York’s 40-man roster tally drops to 39.
New York signed Inciarte to a minor league contract last month, then selected him to the majors not long after. The move afforded the club a defense-oriented depth outfielder while Travis Jankowski was on the injured list, but the latter returned a few days ago. Jankowski will reassume his role as the speed and glove option off the bench, while Inciarte’s time in the organization could come to a close.
Inciarte appeared in 11 games for the Mets, primarily as a late-game defensive substitute. He tallied eight plate appearances, his first MLB action of the season. Prior to latching on with the Mets, he’d spent the 2022 campaign on a minor league deal with the Yankees. Through 34 Triple-A games in the Yankees’ system, he hit a decent .252/.336/.408 with four home runs and stolen bases apiece.
The past few seasons have been a struggle for Inciarte, who combined excellent defense with near league average hitting at his peak with the D-Backs and Braves. Going back to the start of the 2020 campaign, the left-handed hitter owns a .197/.262/.271 line across 228 plate appearances. He’s continued to make a fair amount of contact, but his ball-in-play results have dropped precipitously.
The Mets will have a week to trade the three-time Gold Glove winner or place him on waivers. The latter course of action seems likely, and Inciarte would have the right to refuse an outright assignment in favor of free agency if he passes through unclaimed.