NEW YORK -- With less than three weeks to go before pitchers and catchers report, and the Mets -- excepting their pursuit of one last starting pitcher -- all but set on their roster, the team has set about the process of tinkering. The Mets signed three more veterans to Minor League contracts on Monday, and invited all three to Spring Training.
Utilityman Rob Mackowiak will join right-handed pitcher Kyle Snyder and left-hander Jon Switzer in Port St. Lucie, Fla., where all three will attempt to win spots on the roster.
Mackowiak, 32, last saw significant playing time with the White Sox in 2005 and '06, when he batted a combined .285 with 11 home runs. He has since bounced to the Padres and Nationals, amassing just 18 hits in 109 at-bats over the past two seasons. But much of his value comes from his versatility -- Mackowiak has played all three outfield positions, along with first, second and third bases, in his nine-year big league career.
Snyder, 31, was a significant bullpen part for the 2007 World Series champion Red Sox, though he did not make the postseason roster. Once a starter for the Royals, Snyder spent the past two seasons with the Red Sox primarily in the bullpen -- and, last year, primarily in the Minor Leagues.
Switzer, 29, also played in the Red Sox organization last season, though unlike Snyder, he did not crack the big leagues. Switzer's last Major League job came with the Rays in 2007, when he posted an 8.05 ERA in 19 innings.
Yet such statistics aren't always telling. One of Switzer's teammates in that Rays bullpen, Brian Stokes, posted a 7.07 ERA in 2007, before becoming a productive reliever for the Mets last season.
Monday's signings brought the total of Spring Training non-roster invitees to 17. Earlier this offseason, the Mets extended invitations to right-handed pitchers Nelson Figueroa, Michael Antonini, Dillon Gee and Tobi Stoner, left-handed pitchers Adam Bostick, Casey Fossum and Tom Martin, catchers Rene Rivera, Omir Santos and Josh Thole, infielders Andy Green, Michel Abreu and Jose Coronado, and outfielder Fernando Martinez.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.