The Mets announced Thursday that they’ve signed left-handed reliever Luis Avilan to a minor league contract and invited him to Major League Spring Training, where he’ll compete for a bullpen job. Avilan is repped by SPS Sports Group.
Non-tendered by the Phillies earlier this winter, Avilan will land with their division rivals in hopes of cracking a Mets bullpen that is light on left-handed options at present. Daniel Zamora represents the team’s primary 40-man option, while fellow veteran Hector Santiago was also recently inked to a minors pact with an invite to big league camp.
Avilan, 29, has turned in consistently solid numbers at the MLB level over the past three seasons but struggled to stick on various 40-man rosters. Dating back to 2016, he’s pitched to a sharp 3.32 ERA with averages of 10.6 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and a pristine 0.4 HR/9. He posted a grounder rate well north of 50 percent from 2016-17, though that plummeted to 36 percent this past season. Regardless, Avilan has been a useful big league reliever and generally been a nightmare for opposing lefties, who have managed just a .205/.302/.289 slash against him across the past three seasons. Right-handers have fared better but haven’t exactly thrived against him, hitting .263/.349/.386.