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Mets Return Rule 5 Pick Zach Greene To Yankees

Mets Return Rule 5 Pick Zach Greene To Yankees

Right-hander Zach Greene, whom the Mets selected in the 2022 Rule 5 Draft, has cleared waivers and will be returned to the Yankees organization, reports Anthony DiComo of (via Twitter). The Yankees are not required to add him to the 40-man roster.

Greene, 26, was the Yankees’ eighth-round pick back in 2019. As a player selected in the Rule 5 Draft, he’d have had to spend the entire season on the Mets’ roster or injured list (with at least 90 of those days coming on the active roster) in order for the Mets to be able to option him the following season. Before being offered back to his original team, a Rule 5 selection must first pass unclaimed through the entire league on outright waivers, which was the case in this instance.

Greene spent the 2022 season, his age-25 campaign, pitching with the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. He logged 68 1/3 innings out of the bullpen, notching a 3.42 ERA with a huge 33.3% strikeout rate but a bloated 11.1% walk rate. Eric Longenhagen and Tess Taruskin of FanGraphs called him a potential three-pitch middle reliever when profiling last year’s Rule 5 class, noting that Greene’s delivery generated tremendous carry on his heater, which helps to offset the pitch’s below-average velocity.

With five relievers who can’t be optioned — Edwin Diaz, David Robertson, Adam Ottavino, Brooks Raley and Stephen Nogosek —  the Mets were always going to have a hard time carrying a Rule 5 pick. That’s especially true considering one of the few optionable arms they do have was also one of their most effective relievers in 2022: right-hander Drew Smith. Carrying Greene would’ve likely left Smith and righty John Curtiss as the team’s only two optionable relievers, creating minimal flexibility to shuffle the staff when the bullpen needs an extra arm or the rotation needs a spot starter.

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