|Tools of the trade in the Mets dugout. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets have had a busy start to the weekend, as they signed infielder Jonathan Villar on Friday, and on Saturday morning, they announced that pitcher Seth Lugo will be having elbow surgery and is likely to miss the start of the season, and released their spring training invitees.
Veteran Infielder Villar Signed:
The Mets signed veteran infielder Jonathan Villar to a one-year contract. Villar, 29, played for Miami and Toronto last season, playing in 52 games, with a slash line of .232/.301/.292 with two home runs, 15 RBI, 16 stolen bases, and five doubles.
Villar, 29 years old, is one of the speediest players in the game, as he ranks fourth in the majors with 218 stolen bases since 2013. He led the Major Leagues with 62 steals in 2016 with Milwaukee in 2016, and has racked up 35-or-more stolen bases in a season three times (2016, 2018, 2019). He is one of only two active players, along with Dee Strange-Gordon, to have stolen at least 60 bases in one season. From 2016-2019, Villar and Trea Turner were the only two players who had four straight seasons of 10-plus home runs and over 20 stolen bases.
Known for being a reliable infielder, Villar is one of two players, along with his fellow Dominican Republic native Starlin Castro, to play in 300 games apiece at shortstop and second base since his rookie season in 2013. He has also played 54 games at third base, 10 games in center field, and five in left field.
The switch-hitting, 6-foot, 233-pound infielder appeared in all 162 of Baltimore's games in 2019, setting career-best marks with 24 home runs, 73 RBI, 176 hits, 111 runs scored, and five triples.
Villar has played for Houston (2013-15), Milwaukee (2016-18), Baltimore (2018-19), and in 2020, Miami and Toronto.
Seth Lugo Set For Surgery:
Lugo, a right-hander who has evolved from a starter into one of the key arms in their bullpen, had an MRI that revealed he has a loose body in his right elbow and will undergo surgery on Tuesday, February 16 at HSS Florida. Mets Medical Director Dr. David Altchek will perform the surgery.
A Mets press release states, "While going through his normal throwing progression during the offseason, a bone spur had broken off at some point. Inflammation that wouldn't subside recently caused Seth to inform the Mets medical staff of the situation and they ordered an MRI which took place on Friday, Feb. 12."
Lugo will not throw for six weeks before being assessed and then transitioning into a throwing program.
Spring Training Invitees: The Mets also announced that they have invited the following 28 players to spring training:
Pitchers (12) - RHP Matt Allan, LHP Jerry Blevins, RHP Oscar De La Cruz, RHP Jerad Eickhoff, RHP Ryley Gilliam, RHP Harol Gonzalez, RHP Trevor Hildenberger, RHP Tylor Megill, RHP Marcel Renteria, RHP Jared Robinson, RHP Arodys Vizcaino, LHP Tom Windle
Catchers (4) - Francisco Alvarez, Bruce Maxwell, Nick Meyer, David Rodriguez
Infielders (7) - Brett Baty, Brandon Drury, Jake Hager, Ronny Mauricio, Jose Peraza, Wilfredo Tovar, Mark Vientos
Outfielders (5) - Pete Crow-Armstrong, Johneshwy Fargas, Drew Ferguson, Mallex Smith, Tim Tebow