Mets sign catcher Ashley to Minors deal

Veteran among 10 players extended invites to Spring Training by club

Mets sign catcher Ashley to Minors deal

NEW YORK -- The Mets on Friday signed catcher Nevin Ashley to a Minor League contract, inviting him and nine others -- including former first-round Draft picks Dominic Smith and Gavin Cecchini -- to Spring Training.

Ashley, 31, went 2-for-20 in 12 games for the Brewers last season, hitting .306 with eight home runs in 94 games with Triple-A Colorado Springs. He gives the Mets another veteran Minor League presence alongside Johnny Monell. Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki figure to handle the vast majority of catching in 2016 for the Mets.

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Smith, the organization's first-round pick in 2013, will be attending his first big league camp at age 20. It is a significant accomplishment for Smith, who is coming off by far his best professional season: a .305 average and 33 doubles in 118 games with Class A Advanced St. Lucie, which earned him Florida State League MVP honors.

Cecchini also broke out in 2015, winning Eastern League Rookie of the Year accolades for his .317 average, 26 doubles and seven home runs in 109 games with Double-A Binghamton. He was the Mets' top overall pick in 2012.

The Mets also invited Monell and fellow catcher Xorge Carrillo, infielder T.J. Rivera, outfielder Travis Taijeron, and pitchers Paul Sewald, Zack Thornton and Chase Bradford to Major League camp.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.