METS ACQUIRE MINOR LEAGUE OUTFIELDERS DREW GILBERT AND RYAN CLIFFORD FROM HOUSTON
FLUSHING, N.Y., AUGUST 1, 2023 – The New York Mets today announced that the club has acquired minor league outfielders Drew Gilbert and Ryan Clifford from the Houston Astros in exchange for RHP Justin Verlander and cash considerations.
Gilbert, 22, ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Astros organization according to Baseball America and the 68th-best prospect in baseball, per MLB Pipeline. He was slotted as the 36th-best prospect in the majors according to theBaseball Prospectus mid-year ranking. Clifford, 20, was the No. 3 prospect in Houston’s system according to Baseball America and the No. 4 prospect according to MLB Pipeline.
Gilbert was selected as the 28th overall pick in the 2022 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Tennessee. In 81 games between High-A and Double-A this season, the left-handed hitter has hit .274 with 57 runs, 19 doubles, one triple, 12 home runs, 38 RBI, 10 steals with a .363 OBP and a .458 SLG. In 21 games before he was promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi, Gilbert batted .361 (31-86) with 21 runs, eight doubles, one triple, six home runs, 18 RBI, four steals with a .421 OBP and a .686 SLG. He represented the Astros in the 2023 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.
Clifford has appeared in 83 games this season between Class-A Fayetteville and High-A Ashville, batting .291/.399/.520 with 57 runs, 16 doubles, 18 home runs, 61 RBI with a .919 OPS. He was selected in the 11th round of the 2022 First-Year Player Draft out of Crossroads FLEX High School in Cary, NC. In 108 minor league games, the left-handed hitter owns a .282/.405/.494 slashline with 21 doubles, 20 homers, 71 RBI and 70 runs scored.
Verlander signed with New York as a free agent last offseason. The three-time AL Cy Young Award winner made 16 starts for the Mets and went 6-5 with a 3.15 ERA (33 ER/94.1 IP) with 31 walks and 81 strikeouts.