By Jerry Del Priore
The New York Mets continued their 2017 salary dump by trading outfielder Jay Bruce to the Cleveland Indians for right-handed pitching prospect Ryder Ryan Wednesday night.
The move rids the Mets of the $5 million remaining on Bruce’s contract this season. So, New York adds another minor league reliever to its bullpen stable.
The Mets acquired right-hander Drew Smith from the Tampa Bay Rays in a deal for first baseman Lucas Duda and three 22-year-old right-handed relieving prospects — Jamie Callahan, Gerson Bautista and Stephen Nogosek — for closer Addison Reed.
New York also picked up set-up man A.J. Ramos from the Miami Marlins in exchange for two minor leaguers (Ricardo Cespedes and Merandy Gonzalez) right before last week’s trade deadline.
Ryan is an intriguing pitcher. He was drafted twice by the Indians—in the 40th round out of high school, and in the 30th in 2016. The 22-year-old played third baseman at North Carolina, but Cleveland drafted him as a pitcher, his current position in the Mets’ farm system.
Though New York is high on him, according to multiple media outlets, Ryan’s a work in progress, with a current 3-5 record and 4.79 ERA in the 2017 campaign.
So, it remains to be seem if Ryan will turn into anything viable for the Mets.