Mets sign right-handed reliever to support bullpen

mlb: oakland athletics at cleveland guardians, mets
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The Mets entered the offseason with a multitude of goals to improve a roster that vastly underperformed and got gutted at the trade deadline.

One of the bigger goals for the blue and orange this offseason was to add more bullpen depth, and on Wednesday, they continued to do that.

According to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, the Mets have signed right-handed relief pitcher Yacksel Ríos to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

A look at Ríos baseball journey

Ríos major league journey started in 2011 when the Philadelphia Phillies selected him in the 12th round of the Major League Baseball Draft.

The Puerto Rico native meticulously worked his way up the Phillies system before debuting on August 22, 2017.

The right-hander finished his rookie campaign, pitching 16.1 innings across 13 appearances to a 4.41 ERA with a 1.469 WHIP and striking out 17.

Ríos spent 2018 splitting time between Philadelphia and Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In 36 appearances for the Phillies, the Puerto Rico native pitched 36 innings to a 6.75 ERA with a 1.611 WHIP and 36 strikeouts.

The right-hander struggled to start 2019, making just four appearances for the Phillies before being designated for assignment on July 29, 2019.

Ríos got claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates and finished 2019, appearing in 14 games combined for the Pirates and Phillies, pitching 13 innings to a 6.92 ERA with a 1.846 WHIP and 12 strikeouts.

The Puerto Rico native made just three appearances for the Pirates in 2020 before opting for free agency following the campaign.

Ríos bounced around a multitude of organizations in 2021 but appeared in the major leagues for just the Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox.

In 23 games between the two organizations, Ríos pitched 27.1 innings to a 4.28 ERA with a 1.244 WHIP and 23 strikeouts.

Ríos spent 2022 in the Chicago White Sox before beginning 2023 in Triple-A Gwinnett within the Atlanta Braves organization.

The 30-year-old was then shipped to the Oakland Athletics on June 18 for cash considerations.

Ríos made just three appearances for the Athletics, pitching 1.2 innings to a 37.80 ERA with a 5.400 WHIP and two strikeouts before needing right-shoulder surgery that cost him the rest of the campaign.

Ríos became a free agent following the season.

What does this mean for the Mets?

Signing Ríos is a low-risk, high-reward situation for the blue and orange. 

New President of Baseball Operations David Stearns has prioritized bullpen depth and has taken a quantity over quality approach; adding Ríos is just another cog in the overall master plan.

The Mets will hope Ríos can pitch well in Triple-A Syracuse before eventually finding a niche in the blue and orange bullpen.