It seems the López release was designed to facilitate his heading overseas. Francys Romero reported this week (Twitter link) that the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball were negotiating a deal with the Mets about buying out his contract. The Wasserman client will apparently make the jump to Japan’s highest level for the first time, securing a loftier salary than the one he’d have made if he spent much of next season shuttling on and off New York’s active roster.
López, 30 next month, has appeared in the last five MLB seasons. Formerly a high-profile international signee of the Diamondbacks, he played four seasons in the desert. The righty posted a 3.41 ERA over 60 2/3 innings in 2019 but otherwise put up subpar numbers at the MLB level. López bounced around via waivers last offseason before landing in Queens, where he worked as a depth reliever.
He appeared in eight MLB games as a Met, tallying 11 innings of eight-run ball. López threw 35 innings at Triple-A Syracuse, posting a 5.14 ERA. His underlying numbers at the top minor league level were more impressive, as he racked up grounders on over 57% of batted balls. López also struck out 23.8% of opponents against a 9.4% walk rate in Triple-A while averaging nearly 96 MPH on his fastball during his limited MLB time.
Additionally, New York announced agreement with left-hander Joey Lucchesi on a 2023 contract to avoid arbitration. Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports he’ll receive a $1.15MM salary (Twitter link). That’s an identical match for this year’s salary, which isn’t surprising since the southpaw missed the whole year rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. He’s expected to factor in as a swingman or depth starter for New York next season, and he’ll be eligible for arbitration once more at the end of the ’23 campaign.