The Mets have outrighted right-handed outfielder Justin Ruggiano, and the 34-year-old has elected free agency. He becomes the latest of several Mets players to be removed from the team’s 40-man roster, necessary housekeeping as baseball enters its offseason.
Signed by the Mets at the end of July as they dealt with injury after injury, Ruggiano wound up playing in just nine games for the Mets because of injuries of his own. In those nine games, however, he hit far better than anyone could have reasonably expected, with a .333/.385/.625 line, two home runs, and a 171 wRC+. The highlight of his time with the Mets was his 3-for-5 night in San Francisco on August 18, as one of those hits was a grand slam against Madison Bumgarner.
The Mets ultimately lost that game, but Ruggiano went 2-for-3 with a run scored and a run batted in on August 20, a game the Mets won against the Giants. That game was something of a turning point for the Mets, as they went on a tear and climbed from fringe Wild Card contention to the top Wild Card spot in the National League by the end of the season.
As for the Mets’ roster, the team now has 34 players on its 40-man roster. That number doesn’t include any of the team’s free agents or Yoenis Cespedes, who is expected to officially opt out of his contract and join several of his teammates in hitting the open market.