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Mets pick Luis Oviedo in Rule 5 draft, trade him to Pittsburgh

Remember the name: Luis Oviedo, the owner of the briefest Mets tenure in recent memory.

The 21-year-old righthander was a member of the organization for about an hour Thursday as the Mets plucked him out of Cleveland’s farm system in the Rule 5 draft, then traded him to the Pirates for cash considerations.

Players picked in the Rule 5 draft need to stay on the major-league roster (or injured list) next season or else be offered back to their original team. In the case of Oviedo, Pittsburgh would return him to Cleveland, not the Mets.

In terms of taking up a spot on the 40-man and active rosters, Oviedo makes more sense for the rebuilding Pirates than the win-now Mets. He had a 5.38 ERA in 19 games (all starts) in Class A in 2019 and was ranked by MLB Pipeline as Cleveland’s No. 25 prospect.

The Mets also lost one player in the major-league portion of the Rule 5 draft: righthander Dedniel Nunez, who went to the Giants.

Nunez, 24, was ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Mets’ No. 18 prospect. In 2019, he had a 4.39 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 16 games (15 starts) across two Single-A levels. He had 94 strikeouts (23 walks) in 80 innings.

In the minor-league Rule 5 draft, the Mets selected five players: centerfielder Drew Ferguson (Astros), righthander Justin Dillon (Blue Jays), infielder/outfielder Drew Jackson (Dodgers), righthander Jesus Reyes (Reds) and lefthander Jose Zorrilla (Reds). Jackson and Reyes made major-league cameos with their previous teams.

They lost four players: shortstop Sebastian Espino (to the Blue Jays), catcher Wilfred Astudillo (to the Reds), righthander Ezequiel Zabaleta (to the Rays) and second baseman Mitchell Tolman (to the Giants).

Those players do not need to be on any specific roster in order to stick with their new club.

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