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Scott Rice now a free agent

Rice released

The first former Revolution player to make his Major League debut may now be looking to make Revs history of a different sort.  Now former New York Mets lefty Scott Rice (York ’11) was outrighted to Triple-A on October 31 and taken off the Mets 40-man Major League roster.  That’s just the official jargon, meaning Rice is now a free agent.  We first saw the news reported on Twitter by Mets beat reporter Adam Rubin.

Should Rice, 33, sign with another MLB organization and appear in the Majors, he’d become the first Revolution alum to play in the big leagues for two different teams.  When he made his Major League debut on Opening Day 2013 for the Mets, he became the fourth former Rev to play in the bigs (that number is now at eight, after four more this season), but the first to make his MLB debut.  Rice was one of baseball’s biggest early season stories upon finally making it to the Majors at age 31, after 14 minor league seasons.  Many of those were injury plagued, after being drafted in the first round by the Orioles in 1999.  Rice was the oldest rookie in Major League Baseball to begin that season.

Unfortunately Rice’s injury luck hasn’t subsided, even as he was establishing himself as one of the top match-up lefties in the Majors.  He was on track to lead MLB in games pitched in 2013, before having to shut it down in September with a hernia injury that ultimately led to surgery after making 73 appearances.  He made 32 more appearances for the Mets this season, but something was obviously not right after he posted a 5.93 ERA in those games.  After six games at Triple-A Las Vegas, he was shelved again for the season with an elbow injury.

Rice could re-sign with the Mets on a minor league deal, but of course he’ll look for a Major League deal first if there is interest.  Odds are he’ll be wearing new colors next year, and even if he signs a minor league deal, it will most certainly include an invite to MLB spring training where he’ll fight to prove himself all over again, not that he hasn’t done that before.

-Paul Braverman


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