With the start of spring training fast approaching, the Mets made a minor deal Friday by trading reliever Gabriel Ynoa to the Baltimore Orioles for cash.
The purpose of this move?
What stands between Mets and division title?
The Mets needed to free up a 40-man roster spot for the return of right-handed reliever Fernando Salas, who agreed to terms on a one-year deal Feb. 3 pending a physical.
Ynoa, 23, debuted in the big leagues last season by going 1-0 with a 6.38 ERA, over 10 games, three as a starter, for the Mets. The righty struck out 17 over 18 innings, but was roughed up for 26 hits and 13 runs.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Ynoa spent his first seven seasons as a pro with the Mets, going 59-30 with a 3.36 ERA as a minor leaguer over 136 games, all but eight as a starter.
To make room for Ynoa on their 40-man roster, the Orioles designated catcher Fernando Pena for assignment.
Mets pitchers and catchers report for spring training in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Feb. 13 with their first workouts scheduled for the following day. The other position players must report by Feb. 18 and the first full-squad workout is Feb. 19.
The Mets' first Grapefruit League game is scheduled for Feb. 24 against the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla.
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