Mets Claim Tayler Saucedo From Blue Jays

The Mets have claimed reliever Tayler Saucedo off waivers from the Blue Jays, according to announcements from both teams. Toronto also announced that righty Casey Lawrence went unclaimed on waivers and was outrighted off the 40-man roster.

Saucedo has pitched in the big leagues in each of the last two seasons. He made 29 appearances in 2021 but only got into four big league games this year. In 28 1/3 combined innings, the southpaw has posted a 5.40 ERA. He’s only punched out 15.3% of opposing hitters, but he’s racked up ground balls at an incredible 58.7% clip. Saucedo has also held left-handed batters to a meager .182/.280/.295 line in 50 plate appearances, giving him an opportunity to carve out a role as a left-on-left specialist.

He had a much different profile with Triple-A Buffalo this year, only inducing grounders at a 40.5% clip but punching out 34.1% of batters faced. The Tennessee Wesleyan product has a 3.77 ERA in 93 career innings at the Triple-A level. He still has a pair of minor league option years remaining, meaning he can move back and forth between Queens and Triple-A Syracuse over the next couple seasons if he holds his 40-man roster spot. The Mets relied primarily on Joely Rodríguez as their left-handed bullpen arm this year, but he’s now a free agent. Adding further lefty depth figures to be a priority for general manager Billy Eppler and his staff.

Lawrence returned to the majors this season for the first time since 2018. The swingman soaked up 18 innings across six relief appearances, putting up a 7.50 ERA with a 13.9% strikeout rate. The 35-year-old had a strong 2.79 mark across 126 innings with Buffalo. He’s previously been outrighted, so he’s likely to decline the outright assignment in favor of minor league free agency.

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