Josh Winckowski was a member of the Mets for less than two weeks before he was traded for the second time this winter.
The right-handed pitcher, who was acquired by the Mets from Toronto in the Steven Matz deal on Jan. 27, was shipped off to Boston 13 days later in the three-team deal that sent Andrew Benintendi to Kansas City and netted the Mets outfield prospect Khalil Lee.
Winckowski said he was playing video games with former minor-league teammates in the Blue Jays organization when he learned he’d been dealt again.
“We were in the middle of the game and I could feel my phone rumbling on my desk,” Winckowski told WEEI in Boston. “It was getting later in the game and it was getting pretty intense, but I turned it over and I had two calls from my agent, a voicemail and a couple of buddies texting me, ‘What is going on?’
“I’m like, ‘I think something crazy is going on. Can we get this game over with?’ So we come in like third-place and I finally check with my agent and sure enough, he’s like, ‘You got traded to the Red Sox.’ I’m like, ‘No way.’ I mean, I was a Met for a week and a half. It was just so surprising. You always know it’s a possibility but … it was just really surprising. I was expecting to play a little bit for the Mets, at least.”
The 22-year-old Winckowski grew up in the Fort Myers area where the Red Sox train. He received an invitation to major league spring training for the first time in his career.
“On the Jays, I really didn’t think I would ever get traded,” Winckowski said. “The initial trade from the Jays was super surprising. So the Mets trade for me and you have 20-25 calls and you’re just trying to get acclimated and you’re describing yourself a whole bunch.”
The Mets then moved Winckowski and a player to be named later to land the 22-year-old Lee, 22, who was rated as the Royals’ No. 8 prospect by MLB pipeline. The center fielder stole 53 bases in 2019 at Double-A Northwest Arkansas with a slash line of .264/.363/.374.