Mets cut Ruf following failed trade, set opening day roster
By MIKE FITZPATRICK
NEW YORK (AP) Darin Ruf was cut Monday by the Mets as the team set its opening day roster, ending his brief stint in New York following a failed trade.
Speedy outfielder Tim Locastro won the final bench spot over Ruf, acquired from San Francisco at the trade deadline last August to provide the right-handed half of a DH platoon with Daniel Vogelbach.
Ruf, however, batted only .152 with no homers, seven RBIs and a .413 OPS in 74 plate appearances over 28 games with the Mets.
Bothered by a sore wrist this spring, he went 5 for 30 (.167) with one RBI, two extra-base hits, nine strikeouts and a .498 OPS in 11 Grapefruit League games.
To get him, the Mets sent J.D. Davis, left-hander Thomas Szapucki and minor league pitchers Nick Zwack and Carson Seymour to the Giants. Davis thrived at the plate in San Francisco last year and Szapucki was moved to the bullpen, where he compiled a 1.98 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 10 relief outings covering 13 2/3 innings.
The 36-year-old Ruf was designated for assignment, meaning the club has seven days to trade, release or send him outright to the minors. He is still due $3.25 million from the Mets.
“It was a trade that didn’t work out. Plain and simple,” general manager Billy Eppler told reporters in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
In other moves, the Mets tabbed veteran right-hander Tommy Hunter for a bullpen role, selecting him to the major league roster after bringing him to camp on a minor league deal.
And with newcomer José Quintana sidelined until at least July following surgery to repair a stress fracture in his rib, fellow left-hander David Peterson won the vacant spot in the rotation over right-hander Tylor Megill, who was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.
Peterson is scheduled to start the second game of the season Friday in Miami. He will be followed Saturday by new addition Justin Verlander, lining up the three-time AL Cy Young Award winner to pitch the home opener April 6 against the Marlins.
Max Scherzer will start the season opener Thursday against Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara, last year's NL Cy Young Award winner. Japanese rookie Kodai Senga and veteran right-hander Carlos Carrasco round out the rotation.
NOTES: RHP Dylan Bundy would get a $2 million contract if added to the 40-man roster. New York signed Bundy to a minor league deal Saturday to provide rotation depth. He went 8-8 with a 4.89 ERA in 29 starts for Minnesota last season.
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Updated March 27, 2023