Scott Rice signs with Diamondbacks
After three seasons with the New York Mets, former Revolution lefty reliever Scott Rice has signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He’ll aim to reach the Majors for the first time since 2014, lest he be assigned to Triple-A Reno coming out of spring training. Rice is on a minor league deal, for now.
While most saw the news first on the Twitter account of Yahoo! Sports baseball writer Jeff Passan, Rice for all intents and purposes broke the news himself hours earlier, with the semi-cryptic tweet above, rife with clever emoji use.
The transaction breaks a three-year relationship between Rice and the Mets, which saw one of the better recent stories in baseball unfold in 2013. After starting the 2011 season with York and ending that year in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, Rice signed with New York prior to the 2013 season, and made the club’s opening day roster. When he pitched on opening day in a Mets home win over the Padres, at 31 he was the oldest rookie on a Major League roster at the time. It was also his Major League debut after 14 arduous and often injury-riddled minor league seasons. If you’re new around here and need some background on Rice’s perseverance and his astounding journey to the big leagues after being a first round draft pick of the Orioles in 1999, digest these past pieces from…
Rice pitched in 105 games for the Mets over the 2013 and 2014 seasons, as one of Manager Terry Collins’ favorite match-up options. Despite posting a 1.82 ERA in 56 games for Triple-A Las Vegas last season – especially impressive considering the Pacific Coast League’s high altitude, thin air and general deference toward hitters – Rice was not called up to New York for a third MLB season. The reason was primarily due to Rice being re-signed on a minor league deal, therefore he was not on the Mets 40-man roster. Placing him on the 40-man would’ve forced the Mets to send a player out of minor league options through waivers, and risk losing said player, so Rice was basically stuck. It certainly had to sting for him to see the club he was around so much the two seasons prior go on a run to the World Series without him, so it’s hardly surprising he sought a new opportunity with a different organization.
Despite entering his age-34 season, with a good spring training Rice could certainly find himself back in the Majors as a reliable match-up lefty; whether he makes the opening day roster or has to battle back from Triple-A yet again. Should Rice join the Diamondbacks in 2016, he’d become the second Revolution alum to play for two MLB teams, joining LHP Ian Thomas (’12), after he was traded from the Braves to the Dodgers last May.
On April 20, 2014, Rice and Thomas made York Revolution history, when they pitched in the same game at Citi Field. It marked the first time two former Revs competed against one another in an MLB game, and the first time multiple former Revs played in the same MLB game, period. Now there’s a decent shot they could share the field as opponents once again, in the NL West.