Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - The New York Mets Sunday signed free-agent relief pitcher Ricky Bottalico to a minor league contract.
The Mets immediately assigned the 34-year-old to Triple-A Norfolk of the International League. New York invited Bottalico to spring training as a non- roster invitee, but he was cut before the team left camp and headed north for the start of the 2004 season.
Bottalico appeared in just two games for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season and pitched just 1 2/3 innings. He was 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA, spending most of the year with Arizona's Triple-A affiliate in Tucson.
The six-foot righthander opened his career with Philadelphia and spent seven seasons with the Phillies during two stints in the city. He was an All Star with the team in 1996, posting a career-best 34 saves during that season and again in 1997.
During a 10-year major league career, Bottalico is 28-38 with a 4.03 ERA and 114 saves over 462 relief appearances with Philadelphia, St. Louis, Kansas City and Arizona.