Mets sign utility infielder Joey Wendle and reliever Austin Adams to 1-year contracts

NEW YORK (AP) — The active New York Mets filled two more holes Thursday, signing utility infielder Joey Wendle and reliever Austin Adams to one-year contracts.

Wendle, an All-Star in 2021 with Tampa Bay, gets a $2 million salary with the opportunity to earn another $500,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances, according to a person familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because financial details of the agreement were not announced by the team.

Wendle, who turns 34 in April, spent the past two seasons with Miami and helped the Marlins reach the playoffs this year. He hit .212 with two homers, 20 RBIs and a measly .554 OPS in 112 games, setting career lows in batting average and OPS before becoming a free agent. But he's a strong defender and solid baserunner who has made at least 150 major league starts at shortstop, second base and third — plus 13 more in left field.

Each of his 107 appearances on defense last season came at shortstop, including 81 starts.

New York declined to offer a 2024 contract to utility infielder Luis Guillorme, who had been eligible for arbitration. Wendle assumes Guillorme's role and provides insurance at shortstop for star slugger Francisco Lindor. Wendle could also challenge for playing time at third base and second, making it easier for New York to start versatile Jeff McNeil in the outfield.

Wendle is a .263 career hitter with 32 home runs, 61 steals and a .698 OPS in eight major league seasons with Oakland, Tampa Bay and Miami. He finished fourth in 2018 AL Rookie of the Year voting with the Rays, when he batted .300 with a .789 OPS.

Adams got a split contract that is not guaranteed. The right-hander went 0-1 with a 5.71 ERA in 24 appearances this year for the NL champion Arizona Diamondbacks before his season ended Aug. 1 because of a broken right ankle. He was sent outright to Triple-A Reno in early November and refused the assignment, choosing instead to become a free agent.

A slider specialist, Adams is 6-5 with a 4.17 ERA in 132 big league games over seven seasons with Washington, Seattle, San Diego and Arizona. He has 170 strikeouts and 75 walks in 114 1/3 innings.

Adams plunked 24 batters in 2021 with the Padres — most by a major league pitcher since 1909. Incredibly, he racked up that total in only 52 2/3 innings.

With the Mets, he joins a work-in-progress bullpen that includes star closer Edwin Díaz, lefty Brooks Raley and right-handers Drew Smith and Phil Bickford.

New York made a move Wednesday to fill one of several available spots in the rotation as well. A person familiar with the agreement said the Mets and free-agent starter Luis Severino were finalizing a $13 million, one-year contract. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the deal.


AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.