NEW YORK -- Facing a 40-man roster crunch, the Mets traded pitching prospect Gabriel Ynoa to the Orioles for cash on Friday.
Ynoa was No. 18 on the Mets' 2016 Top 30 Prospects list and made his big league debut in 2016, starting three games and coming out of the bullpen in seven others. He finished with a 6.38 ERA, striking out 17 batters in 18 1/3 innings. Despite those numbers, the 23-year-old's stock seemed to be rising after he went 12-5 with a 3.97 ERA at Triple-A Las Vegas, a notoriously hitter-friendly environment.
Had he reported to Mets camp, Ynoa would have served as a measure of rotation depth behind back-end options Zack Wheeler, Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo. Instead, he will do so for an Orioles club that picked up former Mets starter Logan Verrett in a similar deal earlier this offseason.
The Mets needed to clear Ynoa's spot on the 40-man roster to make room for reliever Fernando Salas, whose re-signing should become official next week. Thursday, the Mets cleared a second 40-man spot for reliever Jerry Blevins, designating utilityman Ty Kelly for assignment.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.