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Mets: Six surprise players who could win a roster spot in Spring Training

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 06: The Grapefruit League logo on the third base line before a spring training game between the Houston Astros and New York Mets at First Data Field on March 6, 2018 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 06: The Grapefruit League logo on the third base line before a spring training game between the Houston Astros and New York Mets at First Data Field on March 6, 2018 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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Mets

Luis Avilan

Back in January, the 29-year-old left-handed Pitcher Luis Avilán signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets with an invitation to spring training.

Another non-roster invitee looking to compete for a spot on the Opening Day Roster, unlike players like Santiago and Davis, Avilan has the benefit of youth on his side, as well as a more consistent recent track record.

To be perfectly honest, after looking at his statistics from the past few seasons, I am shocked that he ended up signing a minor league dealt.

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Over the course of 7 years in the big leagues, Avilan pitched 308.2 innings over the span of 399 games, logging a 3.09 ERA.

Avilan began his career back in 2012 at just 22 years old, where he spent the first four seasons of his major league career before being traded to the Dodgers in 2015. He remained with the Dodgers through the 2017 season before being dealt to the Chicago White Sox in January last year.

He began the 2018 season with Chicago, whom he spent the majority of the year with before again being traded, this time to the Philadelphia Phillies in late August. The Phillies chose not to resign him at the end of the season, making him a free agent for the first time in his career.

Between Chicago and Philadelphia, Avilan appeared in a total of 70 games in 2018, logging 45.2 innings with a 3.77 ERA, while primarily being used as a left-handed specialist.

As of now, the Mets appear to be going into the season with two left-handed relievers, consisting of the veteran Justin Wilson and 25-year-old rookie Daniel Zamora, so adding a third lefty the caliber of Avilan would be a major asset to pen.

Given his track recorded and performance last season, I’m very surprised that New York was able to get him on such a cheap deal. So long as he performs as well as he as throughout his career in Spring Training, Avilan should have an excellent chance to make this team and would give us an extra southpaw to handle the big lefty bats late in games next season.

Even if for some reason he doesn’t break camp with the team and ends up back on the market, I highly doubt he would be a free agent for long.

Next. Who the Mets could have drafted instead of Gavin Cecchini

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