4:29pm: Both teams announced the trade. Chicago receives cash in return.
7:40am: The Mets have acquired right-handed reliever Vinny Nittoli in a trade with the Cubs, per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo. The return headed back to the Cubs is currently unknown, though it’s presumably relatively minor. The deal comes on the heels of Nittoli exercising an opt-out clause in his minor league deal with the Cubs yesterday. DiComo notes that Nittoli will be placed on New York’s 40-man roster, though the club could opt to option him to the minors once added. The Mets have two open spots on their 40-man roster, so no corresponding move will be necessary to add Nittoli.
Nittoli, 32, has just three innings of experience in the big leagues. In his MLB debut for the Mariners in 2021, Nittoli allowed two runs on two walks and a home run in one inning while striking out one. He would return to the majors in 2022, posting two scoreless innings for the Phillies across two appearances.
Outside of his major league appearances, Nittoli is a well-traveled journeyman, with time spent in the Mariners, Phillies, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Twins, Yankees, and Cubs organizations in addition to the independent American Association and the Mexican Pacific Winter League. In 657 1/3 innings across all professional levels, Nittoli has posted a solid 3.77 ERA.
Nittoli’s results have been far less inspiring at the Triple-A level, where he has posted a 4.92 ERA in 131 2/3 innings of work. That said, his numbers have improved for the Cubs this season, as the right-hander has posted a solid 3.48 ERA in 20 2/3 innings with a 24.4% strikeout rate and 7.8% walk rate.
Those numbers clearly intrigued the Mets, who made the decision to add him to the 40-man roster as a depth option for the club’s bullpen, which has seen mixed results this season outside of a phenomenal start from closer David Robertson. Should Nittoli be added to the club’s active roster, the right-hander figures to handle the middle innings alongside the likes of Tommy Hunter, Jeff Brigham, and Dominic Leone.