Designated for assignment and then released by the Mets last week, Bobby Abreu has signed a minor-league deal with … the Mets.
Abreu will report to Triple-A, where he hit .395 in 15 games earlier this season before being called up to the majors. He got off to a decent start as a bench bat and occasional starter for the Mets, but Abreu hit .151 from mid-June until he was let go.
Presumably the Mets have indicated to Abreu that he has a good shot of returning to the big leagues as a September call-up and, not surprisingly, the 40-year-old’s other options were limited.
Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.
OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.
It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.