The Yankees announced that right-hander Stephen Ridings was claimed off waivers by the Mets.
Ridings, 27, was drafted by the Cubs in 2016 but was traded to the Royals and later released. He signed a minor league deal with the Yankees prior to 2021 and briefly got up the majors as a COVID replacement. He only tossed five innings in that stint, spending most of the year in the minors but putting up very impressive numbers on the farm. Between Double-A and Triple-A, he threw 29 innings with a 1.24 ERA, 38.2% strikeout rate and 3.6% walk rate.
That was enough to get him added to the Yankee roster prior to the Rule 5 draft one year ago. However, shoulder issues landed him on the 60-day injured list in April and he never returned. He did start a rehab assignment in September, but only got into two minor league games before the offseason arrived.
Various teams are facing roster squeezes this week, since today is the deadline to add prospects to 40-man rosters in order to protect them from being selected in the Rule 5 draft. As such, some other players are going to get nudged out of their spots, and it seems that Ridings was once such player for the Yanks.
For the Mets, they are looking to rebuild essentially an entire bullpen as they saw Edwin Diaz, Mychal Givens, Adam Ottavino, Trevor Williams, Joely Rodriguez, Seth Lugo, Trevor May and Tommy Hunter all reach free agency as the season ended. They have already re-signed Diaz to return as their closer but they will have a lot of work to do in order to get the entire staff ready for 2023. Ridings has injury concerns but has yet to reach arbitration and still has option years remaining, meaning there’s little cost for the Mets to take a look and see how his arm looks going forward.