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Catcher Rene Rivera the latest to go in salary purge

Mets' Rene Rivera runs the bases after

Mets' Rene Rivera runs the bases after his home run in the fifth inning against the Yankees Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. Credit: Mets’ Rene Rivera runs the bases after his home run in the fifth inning against the Yankees Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017.

Fresh off the trade of Curtis Granderson to the Dodgers, the Mets allowed the Cubs to have catcher Rene Rivera on a straight waiver claim Saturday. The Mets and Cubs apparently were unable to reach an agreement on a Rivera trade after Chicago claimed him, so the Mets simply said, “You take him,” and Rivera packed his bags and left to join the reigning World Series champions.

General manager Sandy Alderson’s trading off of Mets veterans might be complete. Since July, the Mets have traded Lucas Duda, Addison Reed, Jay Bruce, Neil Walker and Granderson, who was shipped to Los Angeles along with cash for a player to be named after Friday night’s rain-delayed game against Miami.

Asdrubal Cabrera and Jerry Blevins could have value to a contender, but both are under the Mets’ control for next season and, the Mets hope, will be part of the solution for 2018.

Granderson’s departure means an expanded role for former No. 1 pick Brandon Nimmo, who started in centerfield and batted leadoff last night. Terry Collins said he will not use the lefthanded-hitting Nimmo in a straight platoon with Juan Lagares, but the Mets could use this season to see if that combination could be a cost-effective answer in center next year.

The Mets recalled Kevin Plawecki from Triple-A Las Vegas to replace Rivera on the roster. Collins said Plawecki will share time with Travis d’Arnaud so the Mets can see what they have in Plawecki.

Asked what he wants to see from Plawecki after his latest stint in Triple-A, Collins said: “Improvement. That he got better . . . Everybody that you ever talked to about [him] when he was in the minor leagues said, ‘This guy’s going to hit. This guy’s going to hit.’ So I told him, ‘Go hit. Go put some big numbers up.’ And he did. So I’m hoping that they translate here. Now he’s going to get a chance to see how it works up here. We’re reaching the stage where Kevin Plawecki, it’s going to be his opportunity to show us that he’s here to stay.”

Plawecki, 26, is a lifetime .206 hitter in the majors. He was batting .328 with nine home runs and 45 RBIs in 64 games for Las Vegas. “These last few weeks here are important,” he said. “But not any more important than any other time I’ve been here.”

The Mets activated lefthander Tommy Milone from the 60-day disabled list to replace Granderson on the roster.

New York Sports