Yankees and Mets swap relievers in rare crosstown rivalry trade


The New York Yankees and New York Mets have one of the more peculiar rivalries in MLB. While they’re located in the same city, they reign in opposite leagues and only lock horns a couple times each season.

Despite their lack of overlap, though, the clubs have been hesitant to engage in business throughout their respective histories. In fact, since the Mets entered the league in 1962, the Subway Series participants have collaborated on trades just 15 times, with only five coming since the turn of the century.

That doesn’t mean the two sides have totally abstained from negotiating. In fact, the Yankees had long-standing interest in Noah Syndergaard and nearly struck a trade for then-Met Zack Wheeler before the 2019 trade deadline.

On Sunday, the de facto rivals finally got a deal over the finish line.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yankees and Mets swapped relief pitchers. Left-hander Joely Rodriguez is headed to Queens, while righty Miguel Castro is on his way to the Bronx.

The Yankees traded lefty Joely Rodriguez to the Mets in exchange for right-hander Miguel Castro.

Make that six Yankees-Mets trade since the turn of the century!

This isn’t a flashy trade by any stretch, but it’s one that should benefit both parties. From the Mets perspective, their bullpen is short on southpaws after 2021 phenom Aaron Loup signed with the Angels in free agency.

Rodriguez, who was rock-solid for the Yankees in the second half of last season, gives Buck Showalter’s clubs some extra insurance behind Chasen Shreve. At the end of the day, Rodriguez getting dealt has long been expected ever since he was given a surprise one-year extension in November.

On paper, it feels like the Yankees won this trade as Castro, when on his game, has one of the filthiest arsenals in the sport. As proven by his 5.5 walks per nine innings last season, though, he has a propensity to lose command of the strike zone.

That’s really the only weakness in Castro’s game, as he’s equally effective against righties and lefties.

In 2021, the Dominican Republic native held righties to a 180/.327/.328/ slash line with a .655 OPS, while limiting lefties to a .198/.313/.270 line with a .583 OPS. We’d trade the higher batting average for a lower slugging percentage all day.

With Zack Britton on the mend from Tommy John surgery, adding Castro lessens the burden on right-handers Chad Green, Jonathan Loaisiga and Clay Holmes, the former two of whom were used seemingly every night down the stretch of the regular season and into the playoffs last season.

While both the Yankees and Mets filled needs in this trade, there’s no debating that Castro is the more established reliever.