The Mets have made their agreement with outfielder Tommy Pham official, announcing the signing today. In a corresponding move, left-hander Tayler Saucedo was designated for assignment, per Will Sammon of The Athletic.
Saucedo, 30 in June, was selected by the Blue Jays in the 21st round of the 2015 draft. He worked his way up to make his major league debut in 2021, posting a 4.56 ERA over 29 appearances. His 17.4% strikeout rate was well below league average but he got ground balls at an excellent 60.3% clip. In 2022, he made four appearances before landing on the injured list with a right hip injury. He began a rehab assignment in June but was kept in the minors for the rest of the year. He tossed 20 innings down on the farm with a 2.25 ERA and 35.3% strikeout rate, though his 11.8% walk rate was on the high side.
In November, the Mets grabbed him off waivers from the Jays and have held onto him for the past couple of months. They’ve been trying to patch together a bullpen for 2023 after Edwin Díaz, Adam Ottavino, Seth Lugo, Trevor May, Trevor Williams, Joely Rodríguez and Mychal Givens all became free agents after 2022. Díaz and Ottavino have since been re-signed, while they’ve also acquired Brooks Raley and signed David Robertson. In terms of lefties, assuming Joey Lucchesi and David Peterson will be working as starters, this move now leaves Raley as the only left-handed reliever on the club’s roster.
The Mets will now have a week to trade Saucedo or pass him through waivers. His MLB track record is still fairly limited but left-handed relief is always in demand and there are plenty of clubs that make sense to add a little more depth there. Saucedo still has a couple of option years and could be easily shuttled between Triple-A and the majors. He also has less than two years of MLB service time and could thus be retained for the foreseeable future.