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Mets Sign Pitcher Tim Byrdak, Trade for Infielder Brandon Hicks

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Mets Sign Pitcher Tim Byrdak, Trade for Infielder Brandon Hicks
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Tim Byrdak

The New York Mets have re-signed relief pitcher Tim Byrdak and acquired middle infielder Brandon Hicks in a trade, The Sports Network reports.

Byrdak, who pitched for the Mets in 2011 and 2012, returns on a minor league contract, while the team received Hicks from the Oakland Athletics for cash considerations.

It is unknown whether Byrdak—who missed the latter part of last season due to injury and surgery—will be of much service in 2013, as the operation to repair a torn anterior capsule in his throwing shoulder often takes many months from which to fully recover.

A 39-year-old left-handed specialist, Byrdak was 2-2 with a 4.40 ERA in 56 games for the Mets last season. He was 2-1 with a 3.82 ERA in 72 games in 2011.

The 11-year veteran pitched for the Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros before joining the Mets in January of last year. He sports a 4.30 ERA in 471 career appearances.

The 27-year-old Hicks has decent speed and power, though he has had scant success at the major league level so far.

Hicks spent parts of the past three seasons in the big leagues and hit only .133 in 55 games. Last season, he hit .172 with three home runs and seven RBI in 64 at-bats.

What the Houston, Texas native lacks in offensive prowess he makes up in defensive versatility, as Hicks has started games at all four infield positions in his short career. He has played more games at shortstop than any other position, and mans it well with his strong arm.

While his bat is cause for concern—he has struck out as many as 139 times in a minor league season and has a meager .241 batting average at that level—it does show some promise.

Hicks has hit as many as 20 home runs a season, three times eclipsing the 15 home run mark.

Though he will likely be a Triple-A fodder come 2013, it will be interesting to see how much (or how little) he helps the Mets next season.

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