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Mets Sign Jason Isringhausen To Minor League Deal

(Otto Greule Jr / Getty Images)
(Otto Greule Jr / Getty Images)

As rumored earlier, the Mets have now made official their signing of Jason Isringhausen to a minor league deal with an invite to big league camp. The Mets selected Izzy in the 44th round of the 1991 June draft and he didn't sign until the following May. He pitched for parts of four seasons in New York before the Mets traded him to the A's on Deadline Day in 1999 in a deal that brought back reliever Billy Taylor. Taylor had an 8.10 ERA in 13.1 innings with the Mets while Isringhausen became the closer in Oakland.

In February 1995, Isringhausen and Bill Pulsipher were among a group of Mets minor leaguers who weren't going to report to spring camp because of the player strike. Minor league contracts aren't governed by the big league collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the player's association, so the Mets essentially forced the hands of those farmhands who threatened to skip out on camp.

According to CRAIG FENECH, the agent for BILL PULSIPHER and JASON ISRINGHAUSEN, the Mets' two top pitching prospects have decided to report to camp even though they have philosophical problems with playing on the same field as replacement players. The Mets made it a virtual non-decision. Although the policy has not been announced, it is believed that the Mets plan to suspend any minor leaguer who fails to report to camp, at the rate of one day of the regular season for each day of camp he misses. In other words, if Pulsipher did not report until replacement players left the minor league facility on March 4, he would be suspended without pay for the first 15 days of the regular season. Both Pulsipher and Isringhausen have said that they would not pitch in any A- or B-level spring training games for the Mets.

Izzy didn't pitch in the majors last year and tossed just 5.2 innings for the Reds' Triple-A team. He pitched 8.0 innings for the Rays in 2009 and had a 5.70 ERA in 42.2 innings in 2008, his last year with St. Louis. In short, he hasn't pitched in two years and hasn't been good in four. He's 38 years old and is certainly a long shot to make the team in any capacity. Nevertheless, I remember fondly the would-be dynasty that "Generation K" was supposed to usher in to Shea Stadium two decades ago, and I've always had a soft spot for Izzy, even when his stupid Cardinals sent me home in a sour mood after Game 7 in 2006.