Mets get crucial bullpen help via trade with the Tampa Bay Rays

Mets get crucial bullpen help via trade with the Tampa Bay Rays

Phil Maton, Mets
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 New York Mets seemed destined to be one of the biggest sellers at this year’s trade deadline, but an impressive stretch sparked by Grimace and “OMG” have the blue and orange back at .500 (45-45) and just 1.5 games out of the final wild-card spot.

However, despite the recent run of success, the blue and orange bullpen has begun to crumble. Between the losses of Drew Smith, Brooks Raley, and Grant Hartwig, just to name a few, and the underperformance from others has led to the Mets bullpen having an ERA of 10.57 in July.

On Monday, president of baseball operations David Stearns made a move to give the bullpen some much-needed help.

The Mets have acquired Phil Maton from the Tampa Bay Rays

Phil Maton, Mets
Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

According to a post from the organization on X, the Mets have acquired relief pitcher Phil Maton from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Maton signed a one-year $6.5 million contract with the Rays this past offseason with a club option worth $7.75 million for 2025. The 31-year-old has struggled this season, pitching 35.1 innings across 40 appearances to a 4.58 ERA with a 1.330 WHIP and 30 strikeouts while also registering a pair of saves.

Although the Kentucky native has performed better as of late, allowing just one earned run over his last 11 appearances.

Stearns said Maton is expected to join the Mets on either Wednesday or Thursday before discussing the acquisition.

“This is someone that we targeted and talked to over the offseason. Has been a very consistent reliever pitching in high-leverage environments in big games in Houston,” Stearns said.“Got off to a rougher start this year, and we think some of the adjustments he’s made over the last month or so — throwing a few more strikes, some usage adjustments — have led to some better results, and we’re happy to bring him into our ‘pen.”

Mets get help for beleaguered bullpen, acquire Phil Maton from Rays in trade (msn.com)

What does this move mean for the Mets?

Phil Maton, Mets
Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The acquisition of Maton is a perfect low-risk, high-reward move. If the 31-year-old’s rejuvenation over the last month can continue in Flushing, the move will turn into an absolute steal,

If the Kentucky native falters, the Mets didn’t give up anything more than money, so it won’t significantly set the organization back.  Time will tell how Maton performs with the Mets, but this move could be a stroke of brilliance for Stearns and company.

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