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Mets add utility infielder Brandon Hicks, sign Byrdak to minor-league deal

Mets relief pitcher Tim Byrdak pitches. (May 24,

Mets relief pitcher Tim Byrdak pitches. (May 24, 2012) Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

The Mets acquired a potential utility infielder in 2013, trading cash to the Oakland Athletics for 27-year-old Brandon Hicks. The team also re-signed lefthanded reliever Tim Byrdak to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.

Hicks hit .172 with three homers in 22 games last season for the A's. He played mostly shortstop, though he could fit in as the Mets' backup infielder, a job held last season by Ronny Cedeño, who is a free agent. In parts of three seasons with the Braves and A's, Hicks is a .133 lifetime hitter. But in the minors, Hicks has shown flashes of pop, hitting 80 homers in parts of six seasons.

Meanwhile, Byrdak signed a minor-league deal and will be invited to spring training, though it's unclear how much he'll pitch next season. The 39-year-old lefty specialist had major shoulder surgery in September. But the signing will allow Byrdak to rehab with the Mets.

When healthy, he has been a weapon in the bullpen. He went 2-2 with a 4.40 ERA last season and held lefties to a .154 average before a torn interior capsule ended his season in early August.

The Mets don't believe Byrdak's injury to be career ending.


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