Mets sign lefty reliever Scott Rice to minor league deal
The Mets have signed lefty reliever Scott Rice to a minor league deal with an invite to big league Spring Training.
Rice, 33, had season-ending elbow surgery on July 23 and removed Rice from the 40-man roster in October.
Rice posted a 5.93 ERA and 1.98 WHIP for the Mets in 2014 in 13.2 innings pitched spanning 32 appearances.
Before his injury woes, Rice put together a solid season for the Mets in 2013, posting a 3.71 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 51 innings (73 appearances).
In 2013, Rice held left-handed hitters to a .167/.244/.223 in 37 innings pitched while allowing 1 home run and striking out 35.
Taking a flyer on Rice is fine, and he proved in 2013 that when healthy, he’s highly effective against lefties.
Still, the Mets need more lefty help for the bullpen.
In trade discussions with opposing teams for Dillon Gee, it’s been noted that the Mets could potentially get back the lefty reliever they desire.
If the Mets are unable to add another lefty via trade, they can either add another couple of lefties on minor league deals to compete with Rice, or sign a more high profile (but still inexpensive option) to a major league deal.
Other lefty relievers on the free agent market include Craig Breslow, Joe Beimel, Neal Cotts, Scott Downs, Joe Thatcher, Wesley Wright, Franklin Morales, and Josh Outman.