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Mets Sign 2 Arms On Minor League Deals In Attempt To Build Pitching Depth

As the Mets look to build pitching depth, they signed two arms on minor league deals.

After their pitching staff was decimated by injuries a season ago, the Mets must build depth in this area in order to prevent this from occurring again in 2022.

On Jan. 13, Baseball America reported that the Mets have signed two hurlers to minor league deals, veteran left-handed side-armer Alex Claudio and righty Stephen Nogosek.

Claudio, 29, struggled with the Angels last season, posting a 5.51 ERA, 1.592 WHIP, 5.10 FIP, 82 ERA+, 8.3 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 across 32.2 innings out of the bullpen. The Angels designated Claudio for assignment on July 25 and released him five days later. The Red Sox picked up the southpaw in August and assigned him to Triple-A, but things didn't get much better for him as he produced a 6.17 ERA in eight appearances for Worcester before getting released in late-September. 

Claudio has lost his way in the past five seasons after putting together back-to-back strong campaigns with the Rangers earlier in his career in 2016 and 2017. Claudio's best days came in Texas, where he posted a 3.20 ERA, 3.34 FIP and 146 ERA+ across 230.2 innings in his first five big-league seasons. The hope is that the Mets' player development staff can help the reliever get back on track after he showed promise from 2014 to 2017.

As for Nogosek, he has been with the Mets since the 2017 trade deadline when the Red Sox included him in a package to acquire reliever Addison Reed.

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Nogosek, 27, has only tossed 9.2 innings at the major league level with the Mets, posting a 9.31 ERA, 6.92 FIP and 1.759 WHIP across two seasons. Last year, he gave up two solo home runs in three innings of work.

Although he has struggled in the Mets' minor league system for the most part since coming over from the Red Sox, Nogosek put together a strong campaign in 2019 between Double-A and Triple-A. Nogosek posted a 1.07 ERA, 195 ERA+, 0.993 WHIP and 8.9 K/9 across 50.1 innings during this season. However, after the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the 2020 minor league season, Nogosek had a rough go of things last year with a 4.85 ERA and 1.436 WHIP in 39 innings.

Now, he will get another shot at proving his worth this year, and should factor in as a minor league depth piece in the Mets' bullpen.

Speaking of depth pieces, starting pitcher Corey Oswalt will no longer be relied on as a hybrid reliever/starter that the Mets can pluck from the minors when they are in need of an arm in the big-leagues. According to Baseball America, Oswalt signed a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants. 

Oswalt was selected by the Mets in the seventh-round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He went onto make his major league debut in 2018, and bounced between the minors and big-league roster at various points over the course of the next four seasons.

Oswalt was relatively solid in limited action a season ago, making three appearances and one start, while posting a 3.48 ERA, 3.07 FIP, 119 ERA+ and 8.7 K/9 in 10.1 innings. Unfortunately, Oswalt was moved to the 60-day IL due to right knee inflammation on July 19, which ultimately ended his 2021 campaign.