Torres, 30, had a mid-June opt-out date written into his contract, allowing him to seek free-agent deals elsewhere if the Mets did not promote him. So they made the move and optioned Burke, who escaped a bases-loaded jam in Saturday's game.
Torres was 6-3 with a 3.89 ERA in 12 starts at Vegas, striking out 67 batters and walking 19. A veteran of the Rockies and White Sox, Torres holds a 5.97 ERA in 44 career Major League games.
His resume may have blemishes, but rather than risk losing Torres, the Mets chose to risk losing the younger McHugh. Though McHugh struggled in three appearances with the Mets this season, including a spot start, he also posted a 2.87 ERA in nine starts at Vegas as a 25-year-old.
The move also forced the Mets to option Burke, whose submarine delivery had yielded just one earned run since the Mets recalled him on May 12. Burke's 0.71 ERA over that span was by far the best of any pitcher who spent significant time in New York.
The Mets are not done making moves either, needing to clear roster space for Zack Wheeler to join the team next week. Scott Atchison is also nearing a return from the disabled list, meaning the Mets may need to dump two more relief pitchers in the coming days.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.