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Mets claim Stephen Ridings off waivers from Yankees

The right-hander has only five big league innings under his belt.

New York Yankees v Chicago White Sox Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

After being removed from the Yankees’ 40-man roster, the Mets claimed right-handed pitching prospect Stephen Ridings on waivers. Ridings, a Huntington native, had pitched five innings for the Yankees in September 2021, and missed most of 2022 with a shoulder injury.

Brendan Kuty of shared this quote from Ridings about his injuries this season.

“I’m not even sure how to describe it honestly,” Ridings said. “I guess the way you would treat it is similar to Thoracic outlet (syndrome). I don’t necessarily have it, but they found some of the nerves that run through a couple of muscles in my neck aren’t in the right spot. And that could be what’s giving me some of the issues. They treated it with some injections and it’s been great since.”

Drafted by the Cubs in 2016, Ridings was traded to the Royals, who eventually released him, which led to him signing with the Yankees ahead of the 2021 season. His five big league innings were moderately successful ones, striking out seven, walking two, and giving up one earned run on four hits. He flashed a good fastball/slider combo, but is a relative unknown after the shoulder issues that led to only two professional innings being thrown in 2022.

As a flyer, this is a fine move for the Mets. If he can retain some of his pre-injury stuff, this may even be a steal. But shoulder injuries, and specifically anything that is similar to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, are always a crapshoot.

Ridings was likely removed from the 40-man roster in preparation for the upcoming Rule 5 draft. The deadline for finalizing the roster is at 6pm today, while the draft itself will happen in San Diego on December 7th.