NEW YORK (AP) — Designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach and reserve infielder Luis Guillorme were cut Friday by the New York Mets.
The team also declined to offer 2024 contracts to relievers Jeff Brigham, Sam Coonrod and Trevor Gott, making them free agents along with Vogelbach and Guillorme.
New York agreed to a one-year deal with outfielder DJ Stewart, a pleasant surprise last season after he came up from Triple-A Syracuse. Like the others, Stewart had been eligible for arbitration this winter.
Friday night was the deadline for major league teams to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. New York did tender its five other such players: first baseman Pete Alonso, reliever Phil Bickford, left-handers Joey Lucchesi and David Peterson, and reliever Drew Smith.
For the Mets, these marked the most significant roster decisions yet for new president of baseball operations David Stearns, who took over the team in early October.
The beefy Vogelbach, a 2019 All-Star with Seattle, batted .233 with 13 home runs, 48 RBIs and a .742 OPS in 104 games this year. He struck out 81 times in 319 plate appearances, and was headed into his final year of arbitration eligibility.
Guillorme, a slick fielder who plays all over the infield, hit .224 with one homer, nine RBIs and a paltry .615 OPS in 120 big league plate appearances over 54 games last season. He was demoted to the minors for a while and, after returning, missed two months with a strained right calf.
His days with the Mets appeared numbered when New York claimed Zack Short off waivers from Detroit early last week. Short is also a light-hitting backup infielder who can play shortstop.
Stewart, who turns 30 at the end of this month, was a first-round draft pick by Baltimore in 2015 out of Florida State. He batted .244 with 11 homers, 26 RBIs and an .840 OPS in 58 games for the Mets last season, playing improved defense in right field as well.
He could assume Vogelbach’s role as a left-handed bat with power against right-handed pitching, while providing the added benefit of being able to play a corner outfield spot.
Stearns hired rookie manager Carlos Mendoza to replace Buck Showalter after the disappointing Mets finished fourth in the NL East this year at 75-87 despite having the highest payroll in big league history.
Mendoza was introduced at a Citi Field news conference Tuesday. He spent the past four seasons across town as skipper Aaron Boone’s bench coach with the New York Yankees.
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