The Mets have signed a trio of players to minor-league contracts.
The Mets announced today that they have signed a trio of players to minor league contracts for the 2013 season: left-handed pitcher Scott Rice, right-handed pitcher Carlos Torres, and outfielder Jamie Hoffmann.
Torres has the most major league experience of the bunch, as he pitched 53.0 innings for the Rockies this year. The posted a 5.26 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in the process. He had brief stints with the White Sox in 2009 and 2010, too, with poor results.
Torres just turned 30 at the end of October, but there's at least some hope that he'll be an effective pitcher in the big leagues after escaping the unfriendly confines of Coors Field. Opponents hit Torres to the tune of a .348 wOBA at home this year but only posted a .286 wOBA against him on the road. His 5.10 FIP at home and 3.74 FIP on the road might also suggest he was a victim of Coors Field. Of course, we're dealing in extremely small sample sizes here, so it's entirely possible that his splits from this year are meaningless.
Rice hasn't cracked a big-league roster yet, but he most recently pitched in the Pacific Coast League with for the Dodgers' affiliate. He, too, is 30 years old, and he managed a respectable 4.40 ERA this year in a very-hitter-friendly league.
Hoffman has a total of 28 plate appearances in the majors, all of which came with the Dodgers in brief call-ups in 2009 and 2011. He's a bit younger, though, at 27 years old, and he hit .254/.347/.407 with Norfolk, the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate in the International League. His 2010 and 2011 numbers in Triple-A look a lot better on the surface, but he spent those years with the Dodgers' affiliate in the PCL, too.
All in all, these signings might not amount to much for the Mets as all three players look very likely to begin the year in Las Vegas. But Torres might get a shot in the Mets' bullpen at some point next year and could perhaps be effective, and Hoffmann looks like something of Mike Baxter 2.0. It's tough to see Rice getting any significant time with the Mets, but that'll depend on whether or not the Mets fortify their bullpen more between now and the beginning of the season.