Before landing Jed Lowrie, the New York Mets made another sneaky-good move by adding veteran lefty Luis Avilan to a minor league pact.
General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen continued his crusade to find low-cost talent, that had underwhelmed in the past but has good potential upside to add to the New York Mets minor league clubs. This week, he was able to land 29-year-old left-handed reliever Luis Avilan.
Avilian started his major league career with the Atlanta Braves back in 2012 and was later traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 2015 season. Last year, he split time with the Chicago White Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies. In 399 career appearances, Avilan has a 3.09 career ERA with a 3.25 FIP.
Last year he posted a rather impressive 10.1K/9 innings and had a 3.09 FIP. Avilan arsenal of pitches contains a low mid 70 mph curveball that can drop down on hitters as well as a high 80’s fastball with okay movement and a low 80 mph changeup that can keep hitters off balance. In 2017 he held lefty batters he faced to only a .195 batting average and to only a .220 average in 2018.
For the Mets to land a pitcher of his quality on only a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training is rather quite impressive. Even more so considering they have been on the search for a lefty specialist to complement an already decent amalgamation of bullpen arms. Avilan is known for keeping hitters off balance and inducing soft contact on opponents’ swings.
Avilan will compete with Daniel Zamora for the leading lefty specialist role out of the bullpen to begin 2019. Zamora was successful last year albeit in limited opportunities. Neither is a sure bet to make the Opening Day roster. However, at this point in the offseason, we should believe at least one of them will make the trip up from Florida after Spring Training ends.
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It’s a low-risk move and a fantastic one at that. Avilan has the numbers to back up the deal. Now it’s time for him to prove it on the field with an orange and blue cap on his head.