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Mets get help for beleaguered bullpen, acquire Maton from Rays in trade

 The Associated Press  |    Jul 9th, 2024 6:43pm EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Seeking help for a struggling and depleted bullpen, the New York Mets acquired reliever Phil Maton from the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday for a player to be named or cash.

Maton was 1-2 with a 4.58 ERA and two saves in 40 appearances for the Rays this season. He struck out 30 and walked 18 in 35 1/3 innings.

The 31-year-old right-hander has spent eight seasons in the majors, going 17-14 with a 4.28 ERA and four saves in 384 games for San Diego, Cleveland, Houston and Tampa Bay.

He gives the Mets an experienced arm to replenish a taxed and tattered bullpen that has lost veteran left-hander Brooks Raley and right-hander Drew Smith to season-ending elbow injuries. Right-handers Sean Reid-Foley and Shintaro Fujinami are also on the injured list, but are expected back from shoulder issues.

The team obtained lefty reliever Matt Gage from the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash on Sunday and optioned him to Triple-A Syracuse.

New York has blown 16 of 37 save opportunities this season, and the relief group has an 8.16 ERA over the past 14 games. Because of injuries and roster decisions, only three of the eight relievers who opened the season with the Mets remain in their bullpen.

Star closer Edwin Díaz was on the IL from May 29 to June 11 with a right shoulder impingement and then returned Saturday from a 10-game suspension for violating baseball’s prohibitions on sticky foreign substances.

To make room for Maton on the roster, left-hander Joey Lucchesi was designated for assignment. Lucchesi made one big league start this year and was pitching at Triple-A.


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The Associated Press