Kirk Nieuwenhuis returns to Mets on waiver claim

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The Mets traded Kirk Nieuwenhuis to the Angels late last month, but Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that the outfielder has returned to the team on a waiver claim.

Nieuwenhuis was designated for assignment by New York a little less than a month ago after starting the season in a 3-for-38 (.079) funk. The 27-year-old was eventually dealt to the Angels for cash considerations, but he hit just .136 (3-for-22) over 10 games before being designated for assignment again this week. He’s a .226/.299/.368 career hitter.

Per Rubin, it’s unclear whether Nieuwenhuis will be added to the active roster or if the Mets will try to get him through waivers to stash him in Triple-A. Darrell Ceciliani took over as a backup outfielder and left-handed bat off the bench when Nieuwenhuis was designated for assignment last month. He’s hitting .241 (7-for-29) with two doubles, two RBI, and three stolen bases over his first 20 games in the majors.

UPDATE: Rubin adds that Nieuwenhuis is expected to join the major league roster.