Mets sign Brad Emaus and Fred Lewis to minor league contracts

He’s back! I thought Brad Emaus got a raw deal from the Mets last season when they sent him back to Toronto after one lousy month. It appears that someone in the front office is also an Emaus believer, because it was announced yesterday that he’s back in the Mets organization on a minor league deal. Joining him is another guy I’m randomly a fan of, Fred Lewis.

The Mets selected Emaus from Toronto in the 2010 Rule 5 Draft and gave him the starting second base gig to begin the 2011 season. However, Emaus got off to a slow start and hit just .162/.262/.162 (with a .214 BABIP) in 42 plate appearances. That was enough for the Mets to send him back to Toronto and give the second base job to Justin Turner, who caught fire in May to endear himself to fans, but still ended the season with only a .690 OPS.

Emaus was traded to Colorado immediately after being returned to Toronto and hit .313/.389/.564 in 186 plate appearances at AAA Colorado Springs. Yes, Colorado is a very hitter friendly environment, but the point is that Emaus didn’t just forget how to hit. With Murphy, Turner and Valdespin on the major league roster, Emaus is just a depth play at this point. I’d be very surprised to see him with the Mets this season (or ever).

Lewis, on the other hand, has a decent chance of returning to the majors at some point. The 31-year-old has had some mild success in the big leagues. In 2008 with San Francisco, Lewis hit .282/.351/.440 in 521 plate appearances. After a so-so stint in Toronto, Lewis barely hit at all in 210 plate appearances with the Reds last season. Still, he’s probably good enough to be a fourth outfielder in the majors. I don’t think he’s worse than Mike Baxter, but there’s not reason to call Lewis up while Baxter and Scott Hairston are so effective. He’ll probably be stashed in Buffalo for now.

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