The Mets are reportedly in agreement with right-hander Andre Scrubb on a minor league deal, per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo. It’s not yet clear if the deal includes an invite to big league spring training.
Scrubb, 29 next month, was an eighth-round pick by the Dodgers in the 2016 draft. After being traded to the Astros back in 2019 in exchange for first baseman Tyler White, Scrubb made his big league debut with Houston during the shortened 2020 campaign. He appeared in 20 of the club’s 60 contests that season, dominating to a sparkling 1.90 ERA in 23 2/3 innings of work. Under the hood, however, Scrubb’s performance was far less impressive due to struggles with control, as evidenced by a whopping 19.6% walk rate that contributed to a pedestrian 4.25 FIP. Those control issues didn’t stop the then-25-year-old righty from contributing to Houston’s run to the ALCS that season, however, as he posted a 2.25 ERA with seven strikeouts against two walks in four innings of work.
Scrubb’s results came crashing back to Earth in 2021. The right-hander struggled badly in 18 appearances with the big league club that season, posting a 5.03 ERA and 6.48 FIP as his control problems led not only to a walk rate of 16.3% but also a whopping five home runs allowed in just 19 2/3 innings of work. Scrubb’s appearances at the Triple-A level went better, as he posted a 1.80 ERA in 15 innings of work, but the control issues lingered until Scrubb went down with a shoulder strain in July. The righty was outrighted off Houston’s 40-man roster following the 2021 season and missed almost the entirety of the 2022 campaign due to injury.
Most recently, Scrubb pitched in independent ball during the 2023 season, posting a dominant 1.52 ERA in 29 2/3 innings of work with the Atlantic League. Scrubb seemingly had command issues under control during his time with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, as he walked just 8.3% of batters faced during that time while posting a 30% strikeout rate. Going forward, Scrubb figures to provide the Mets with a high-octane arm who can act as minor league depth entering 2024. If his control has indeed improved since his time in Houston, it’s easy to see how Scrubb could break into a bullpen that currently figures to feature arms like Phil Bickford, Jose Butto and Sean Reid-Foley.