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Mets sign Scott Rice to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training

The lefty specialist will receive a split contract and an invite to spring training.

Al Bello/Getty Images

The Mets have a deal in place to bring back left-handed relief pitcher Scott Rice on a split contract. The 33-year-old will receive an invite to spring training where he will compete for a roster spot. Rice had been a free agent since October 31, when he was taken off of the 40-man roster.

The former Orioles first-round pick spent 14 years in the minors before finally making his major league debut in 2013 with the Mets. Rice had a 3.71 ERA over 56 innings that year, striking out 41 and walking 27. He enjoyed success against lefties, holding them to a .174/.244/.223 line while striking out 35 and walking only 10. Rice was, however, susceptible to righties, as his abysmal .362/.507/.448 line and 6-to-17 strikeout-to-walk ratio can attest.

After pitching only 13.2 innings in 2014, Rice underwent surgery in July to remove a bone spur and relocate a nerve in his left elbow. He will look to continue his inspiring journey this spring, but the Mets will keep looking for stronger options to fill their need for a left-handed reliever.