MLB Rumors: Yankees, Mets Trade Bullpen Plays | What this means

DUNEDIN, Florida. –The Yankees are suddenly trading left and right as they try to improve their roster ahead of Thursday’s season opener.

The latest deal was rare between the Yankees and Mets. In a 1-on-1 involving veteran Dominican relievers, the Yankees picked up right-hander Miguel Castro for left-hander Joely Rodriguez.

This trade could also pave the way for unlisted Yankees reliever Manny Banuelos to make the opening day roster as the third left-hander in a bullpen that will include 10 or 11 arms.

Castro, 27, threw a career-best 3.45 ERA last season with a career-high 69 appearances, but the 6-foot-7, 205-pound player scored 43 goals in 70 1/ 3 innings. Control has always been an issue for Castro, who delivered 190 free passes in 353 1/3 innings in seven major league seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays (20015), Colorado Rockies (2015-16 ), the Baltimore Orioles (2017-20), and the Mets (2020-21).

Castro had a good spring for the Mets, working three shutout innings in three outings with one strikeout, no walks and two hits.

The trade came about 18 hours after the Yankees traded to the Texas Rangers for wide receiver Jose Trevino, who will start the season as Kyle Higashioka’s replacement after starting 81 games last season. Spring training began with a bigger trade, the blockbuster with the Twins that brought in third baseman Josh Donaldson, shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and catcher Ben Roftvedt for catcher Gary Sanchez and the infielder Gio Urshela.

Castro, who is out of options, is expected to be part of a season-opening Yankees bullpen and will likely be used mid-to-late innings ahead of high-leverage right-handers Jonathan Loaisiga, Clay Holmes and Chad Green.

The deal left the Yankees with three lefties in their projected bullpen, closer Aroldis Chapman, Lucas Luetge and Wandy Rodriguez, but Banuelos is pushing hard to make the club. The 5-foot-10 Mexican has major league experience with the 2015 Braves (7 games, 6 starts) and 2019 White Sox (16 games, 8 starts) and boasts a perfect 0.00 ERA this spring with seven strikeouts, no walks and two hits allowed in three appearances.

Rodriguez, 30, was acquired by the Yankees on July 29 as part of the Joey Gallo deal with the Rangers. He threw a 2.84 ERA in 21 outings after the trade, but finished the season with a 4.66 ERA in 52 appearances. He has a career ERA of 4.61 over 102 games in four seasons with the Phillies (2016-17), Rangers (2020-21) and Yankees (2021).

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Randy Miller can be reached at [email protected].

Thank you for relying on us to deliver journalism you can trust. Please consider supporting us with a subscription.

Randy Miller can be reached at [email protected].

Neal T. Doss