Mets sign lefty Rice to Minor League deal

Mets sign lefty Rice to Minor League deal

SAN DIEGO -- The Mets have reunited with a popular clubhouse figure, signing left-handed reliever Scott Rice to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. General manager Sandy Alderson confirmed the deal on Thursday.

Rice, 33, posted a 5.93 ERA in 32 appearances last season before undergoing surgery in July to remove a bone spur in his left elbow. He made headlines in 2013 as a 31-year-old rookie, making the team against long odds and appearing in 73 games with a 3.71 ERA.

The Mets expect Rice to be fully healthy by Spring Training, competing for a job in the bullpen alongside fellow left-hander Josh Edgin.

Rule 5 Draft pick Sean Gilmartin will also battle for that spot, along with any other lefties the Mets sign this winter. Alderson said the team could still sign or trade for a left-hander on a big league contract.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.