The Mets have agreed to a minor league contract with reliever R.J. Alvarez, according to the club’s transactions log at MLB.com. Minor league free agents are still permitted to sign non-roster deals during the lockout, and the MiLB season will begin on time in spite of today’s announcement the MLB campaign will not open as scheduled.
Alvarez has appeared in a pair of big league seasons, suiting up with the Padres and A’s between 2014-15. He combined to work 28 innings over 31 outings, posting a 7.39 ERA while struggling with walks and home runs. Alvarez averaged 95.2 MPH on his fastball during that time, however, and he induced swinging strikes on a decent 12.1% of total offerings.
Since his time in the majors, Alvarez has bounced between a few Triple-A affiliates. He spent last season in the Brewers system, working to a 4.08 ERA in 35 1/3 innings with their top farm team in Nashville. The right-hander fanned a solid 26.5% of batters faced at that level but issued walks at a slightly elevated 10.8% clip. That’s more or less in line with his career work at the minors’ highest level. He owns a 4.20 ERA in parts of six Triple-A seasons, pairing a 26.8% strikeout percentage with an 11.7% walk rate.