NEW YORK (AP)Daniel Vogelbach was happy to be leaping up the standings and to reunite with Francisco Lindor, his travel teammate during high school days in Florida.
”Just as good as he is now as he was back then,” Vogelbach said of Lindor on Saturday, a day after the Mets acquired Vogelbach from Pittsburgh for rookie reliever Colin Holderman. ”I can’t talk highly enough about the person he was then and playing against him it seems like he’s the same guy now. The guy always has a smile on his face. It’s the same guy every day. He’s just a flat-out good human being.”
New York made another trade with the Pirates on Saturday, obtaining catcher Michael Perez for $100,000.
Vogelbach, likely to start against right-hander Joe Musgrove on Sunday night, is 11 months older than Lindor and was a second-round pick of the Chicago Cubs in the 2011 amateur draft. Lindor was a first-round pick of Cleveland, and the duo played on a travel team along with New York catcher Tomas Nido.
”He was funny. He was outgoing, and he could smash,” Lindor said of Vogelbach. ”It was always fun to play alongside him. It was always an adventure. I’m looking forward to it.”
New York designated hitter entered Saturday with a .217 average, nine homers and 45 RBIs. The average was 24th among 30 teams, homers tied for 23rd and RBIs tied for 14th.
”In anything in life, when you feel wanted, it makes you feel good,” Vogelbach said. ”So I know I said it earlier but this team is special. Just watching from afar, I’m excited and blessed to be a part of it and help any way I can.”
The burly Vogelbach, a left-handed hitter and an All-Star in 2019 with Seattle, was batting .228 with 12 homers, 34 RBIs and a .769 OPS in 75 games for the Pirates, who began Saturday 12 games out of first place in the NL Central.
”He’s somebody that’s well-thought of in the game on the field in the clubhouse,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. ”Should be a good fit for us. I always like people who don’t take themselves too seriously but take the game too seriously.”
The 6-foot, 270-pound Vogelbach signed a $1 million, one-year contract with Pittsburgh in March. The deal included an $800,000 salary this season and a $1.5 million club option for 2023 with a $200,000 buyout.
Vogelbach, 29, can also play first base. He has an .817 career OPS against right-handed pitchers, and 55 of his 61 major league home runs have come versus righties.
New York added Perez to its taxi squad. Nido was in the starting lineup and said he was fine, a day after bruising his left hand on a passed ball.
The 29-year-old Perez was designated for assignment on Friday. A lefty hitter, he batted .150 with six home runs and 11 RBIs in 39 games and 107 at-bats this season.
In parts of five seasons with the Pirates and Tampa Bay, he is hitting .175 with 15 home runs and 58 RBIs.
Mets infielder Travis Blankenhorn was designated for assignment to make room for Perez. Blankenhorn was selected from Triple-A Syracuse and started at DH in Friday’s 4-1 loss to San Diego.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports