Along with the previously reported signings of Gregor Blanco, Dilson Herrera, Rajai Davis, and Ryan O’Rourke, the Mets announced that they have signed RHP Arquimedes Caminero and OF Rymer Liriano to minor-league deals with invites to Major-League Spring Training.
Davis has had an extensive Major-League career, which was capped by a clutch 2016 World Series home run off of Aroldis Chapman. Although his offensive numbers have slipped over the last few years, his speed should be a valuable asset if the Mets ever need a speedster off the bench.
Like Davis, Blanco has already enjoyed a productive Major-League career. He’s spent six of the last seven years with the San Francisco Giants and was the starting centerfielder for their 2012 and 2014 World Series championship squads. Even though he’s never posted outstanding offensive numbers, his glove and speed have always been held in high regard.
Herrera was a former top Mets prospect that was sent to Cincinnati in exchange for Jay Bruce in 2016. While he’s struggled over the last few years, he’ll function as minor-league depth in Syracuse this year. O’Rourke has held lefties to a .134 average over his major-league career. As the Mets do not have many left-handed relievers in the minor-league system, O’Rourke could function as a LOOGY for the big-league club later this year.
Caminero has seen action across four MLB campaigns, including an excellent 2015 season where he posted a 3.62 ERA with the Pirates. He’s played the last two years in the Japanese Pacific League, recording a 3.18 ERA and 40 saves. In his brief Major League time, his fastball averaged 98.8 MPH and routinely exceeded 100 MPH. His signing is a low-risk, high-reward pact that could pay dividends for the Mets. It also should be noted that Caminero underwent a minor elbow procedure at the end of last year.
Liriano was once ranked among the top-50 prospects in the game, but he’s yet to produce much beyond Single-A. He played for the Triple-A affiliates of the Angels and the Brewers in 2018, slashing .253/.342/.472 in the hitter-friendly PCL. He’s also garnered 150 at-bats at the Major-League level, hitting at a .220/.293/.287 clip in 150 at-bats.
Additionally, the Mets also tweeted out that they inked C Dustin Houle, RHP Casey Coleman, and OF Arismendy Alcantara to minor-league deals. In their tweet, they also announced their previously-reported contracts with 1B Dario Pizzano, OF Jason Krizan, and RHP Zach Lee. Lee is the most notable of the signees; he was a former top prospect the Mets memorably beat up in his MLB debut. He’s bounced around the Majors over the last few years and figures to act as starting-pitching depth for the big-league club.
Pizzano appeared in 107 games for the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate in 2018, hitting .285/.361/.433 with 11 homers and 59 RBIs. He’s expected to suit up in the outfield for the Syracuse Mets. Alcantara is another former top prospect who has, so far, failed to meet expectations in the Majors. After bouncing around the minor leagues over the last few years, the 27-year-old played for several teams in the Mexican League in 2018.
Coleman has previous experience in the Majors, however, he has not played in the game’s highest level since 2014. After being released by the Cubs early in the 2018 season, he quickly hooked on with the Sugar Land Skeeters and finished the year with a 0.96 ERA. He’s similarly dominated for the Tomateros de Culiacan of the Mexican Pacific Winter League this winter, posting a 1.24 ERA and a ridiculous 37/5 K/BB ratio in 36.1 innings
Krizan’s calling card is his versatility; he appeared at six different positions in 2018. With the Tigers’ Triple-A team, he slashed .250/.333/.378.
Houle, 25, has spent all of his pro career with the Brewers so far. The backstop appeared across three levels last year, hitting .258/.347/.339. Across six minor-league seasons, he’s caught 35% of all attempted basestealers.
The Mets entered this winter needing to shore up their minor league depth and these deals certainly allowed them to do just that.