- Adam Rubin, ESPNNewYork.com
- 0 Shares
Left-hander Pedro Feliciano, who set franchise records for relief appearances in three straight seasons with the New York Mets, is returning to the organization on a minor league deal to compete for a bullpen spot.
Feliciano, 36, has not thrown a major league pitch since Oct. 2, 2010 -- during his last tour with the Mets.
He signed a lucrative but ill-fated two-year, $8 million deal with the New York Yankees during the 2010-11 offseason.
Feliciano spent both seasons in the Bronx on the disabled list with shoulder woes. He underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff on Sept. 8, 2011.
That investment turned sour prompted Yankees general manager Brian Cashman to allege that the Mets "abused" Feliciano. The left-hander had set Mets records for relief appearances -- 86, 88 and 92 -- before signing his Yankees deal.
After Cashman's remark, Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen acknowledged that Feliciano was overused during his first stay with the Mets. Warthen then suggested the workload was a factor in the Mets' decision not to re-sign Feliciano.
Feliciano responded at the time that Warthen hurt his feelings, and he vowed retaliation when the Yankees played the Mets during the 2011 season.
"I will show him in the Subway Series when I strike out Ike Davis," Feliciano said. "When I jump up and down on the mound, I'll be like, 'That's for you.'"
However, Feliciano never did get healthy and ultimately required the shoulder surgery.
The Mets had offered Feliciano arbitration after the 2010 season. They ultimately ended up with a compensatory draft pick they used on right-hander Michael Fulmer, who is now among the organization's most promising young arms.
Feliciano made 10 rehab appearances in the minors for the Yankees last season but was shut down after twisting an ankle and never reached the majors. He made seven relief appearances in the Puerto Rican winter league this offseason, compiling a 1.23 ERA.
He will have an opportunity to earn a spot in the Mets' bullpen.
Josh Edgin should comfortably make the roster, but the competition is wide-open for a second left-hander in the bullpen among Feliciano, Robert Carson, Darin Gorski and fellow minor league signees Scott Rice and Aaron Laffey.
Left-hander Tim Byrdak, who took over the heavy workload with the Mets once Feliciano departed, is recovering from his own shoulder surgery. Byrdak re-signed with the Mets on a minor league deal but likely will not be available until the second half of the season.