Mets Acquire Matt Gage

The Mets announced this afternoon that they’ve acquired left-hander Matt Gage from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations. Gage was subsequently optioned to Triple-A. The Mets transferred right-hander Drew Smith to the 60-day injured list to make room for Gage on the 40-man roster.

Gage, 31, was a tenth-round pick by the Giants back in 2014 but didn’t make his big league debut until 2022 as a member of the Blue Jays. Since then, he’s appeared in 16 games between the 2022 and 2023 campaigns at the big league level with Toronto and Houston. He’s performed quite well in that time, with a fantastic 1.83 ERA and a solid 3.97 FIP in 19 2/3 innings of work. He sports an impressive 26% strikeout rate across his time in the majors but has walked an elevated 11.7% of opponents as well, raising questions about his control.

Gage arrived in L.A. as part of the Caleb Ferguson trade with the Yankees over the winter and re-signed with the club on a minor league deal back in April shortly after being released from his big league contract. He’s pitched for the club at the Triple-A level since then, posting a decent 4.29 ERA in 21 innings with ratios reminiscent of the ones he flashed during his time in the majors. He struck out an impressive 29.3% of batters faced with L.A.’s Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City but paired that high-octane stuff with a 13% walk rate. The Dodgers opted to select Gage to the 40-man roster last week after he triggered an opt-out clause in his contract, but he remained at the Triple-A level for the remainder of his time in the organization.

Now with the Mets, Gage figures to serve as optionable bullpen depth for a club that has seen its relievers struggle in recent months. Since the start of May, Mets relievers have struggled to a 4.62 ERA that bests only the Pirates and Rockies among NL clubs, and their 4.50 FIP during that same timeframe ranks fourth from the bottom in the majors. In particular, the Mets have struggled to find production from the left side in the bullpen this year. Veteran southpaw Jake Diekman has posted a 5.06 ERA and 5.61 FIP in 26 2/3 innings of work during his age-37 season for the club this year, while depth options Tyler Jay (7.71 ERA in 4 2/3 innings) and Josh Walker (5.11 ERA in 12 1/3 innings) have performed even worse in small sample sizes. The struggles of the club’s internal options should provide Gage with a relatively clear path to a role at the big league level for the Mets, so long as he can produce at a level anywhere near what he’s done in the past for the Blue Jays and Astros.

As for Smith, his placement on the 60-day IL is hardly a surprise given recent reporting that the righty is likely to require Tommy John surgery due to significant damage to his ulnar collateral ligament. He was already ticketed for an extended absence prior to his placement on the IL, and the transfer should not impact his timeline with the remainder of his 2024 campaign already in doubt.

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Title: Mets Acquire Matt Gage
Author: Nick Deeds

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