It looks like Tim Locastro is coming home to Central New York.
Inside the Mets reports the former New York Yankees outfielder has signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets, with an invitation to attend spring training. That means Locastro will likely suit up with the Syracuse Mets, the AAA affiliate of the MLB’s Mets, and be near his family again this spring.
Locastro played baseball at Auburn High School and at Ithaca College before being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays. His major league career has included stints with the Los Angeles Dodges and Arizona Diamondbacks before being traded to the Yankees last season.
While with the Yankees’ Triple-A team, he appeared at Syracuse’s NBT Bank Stadium for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. His Auburn Maroons team won the 2010 Section III Class AA Championship against Liverpool on the same field, back when the Syracuse Chiefs were the minor league baseball team for the Washington Nationals.
“Baseball’s just such a small world,” Locastro said of playing MiLB games in Syracuse last year. “I feel like it all comes full circle, and this is the epitome of it.”
According to Inside the Mets, signing Locastro will add outfield depth for the team’s upcoming 2023 season; starting second baseman Jeff McNeil was listed as the Mets’ fourth outfielder on the depth chart. Locastro appeared in 38 games with the Yankees during the 2022 season, batting .186 with a .588 on-base percentage.
Locastro holds two MLB records: One for the most stolen bases to begin a career without being caught (29) — breaking the previous record of 27 held by Tim Raines — and one for the most times hit by a pitch with fewer than 300 plate appearances in a season (22). His shoes from the stolen base record went to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2021.
“Obviously you always want to get into Cooperstown,” Locastro said in 2021. “That’s what you dream about as a kid — winning the World Series and getting into Cooperstown. So having my cleats there, that’s unfathomable to me.”