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Mets sign eleven players, including Arodys Vizcaino and Mallex Smith, to minor league deals

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Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Mets have signed eleven players to minor league deals, a group that includes former Braves reliever Arodys Vizcaino, outfielder Mallex Smith, and infielder Jose Peraza. The other eight players are:

  • IF Luis Carpio
  • RHP Oscar De La Cruz
  • OF Johneshwy Fargas
  • IF Jake Hager
  • RHP Harol Gonzalez
  • C Bruce Maxwell
  • C David Rodriguez
  • IF Mitchell Tolman

Vizcaino had been very good out of the Braves’ bullpen between 2015 and 2019. Over that span, he had a 2.77 ERA and 3.52 FIP with 10.3 strikeouts and 4.1 walks per nine innings. But he threw just four innings in 2019 before having season-ending surgery on his pitching shoulder in mid-April that year. A month later, he was included alongside Jesse Biddle in the trade that sent former Mets reliever Anthony Swarzak to the Braves. He has not appeared in a game since his surgery.

Mallex Smith is two years removed from what was his best major league season in 2018. Over 544 plate appearances with the Ras that year, he hit .296/.367/.406 with a 118 wRC+ and 40 stolen bases and 3.5 fWAR. With the Mariners in 2019, he stole 46 bases but was much worse at the plate, hitting .227/.300/.335. In very limited playing time this year—47 plate appearances—he hit just .133/.170/.178 with a -5 wRC+, but reading too much into such a small amount of data would be foolish. And believe it or not, he is still just 27 years old.

Peraza is similar to Smith in a couple of ways, despite having spent the mast majority of his major league career in the infield. He’s had one standout season, which also came in 2018, a season he spent with the Reds while hitting .288/.326/.416 with 14 home runs, 23 stolen bases, a 96 wRC+, and 2.6 fWAR. That is the only year in which he put up an fWAR over 1.0, and he’s been negative in that metric in the other three of the past four years.

Some of the players signed to these minor league deals had already been in the Mets’ organization for years, including Luis Carpio and Harol Gonzalez, while others like Jake Hager and KoST runner-up Johneshwy Fargas, were signed to similar deals before the original version of spring training in 2020.