01/04/2006 3:46 PM ET
Mets sign infielder Bret Boone
The New York Mets today signed free agent infielder Bret Boone to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
Boone, 36, split last season between the Seattle Mariners and Minnesota Twins.
"Bret is a veteran guy who provides us infield depth," said Mets General Manager Omar Minaya. "His accomplishments in the majors are well documented. He's an All-Star who has been to the post-season and knows how to win."
The 5-10, 192-pounder hit .231 (63-273) with 30 runs scored, 15 doubles, three triples, seven home runs and 34 RBI in 74 games with the Mariners. Bret was acquired by Minnesota along with cash considerations in exchange for a player to be named later on July 11th. He batted .170 (9-53) with three RBI in 14 contests with the Twins before he was released on August 31st.
"I look at this as a tremendous opportunity," said Boone. "Last year was a season I'd like to forget. The Mets have given me a chance to revive my career and I plan to make the most of it. I know the organization is heading in the right direction and I would like nothing better than to be part of a championship year."
Boone is a three-time All-Star (1998, 2001, 2003), a four-time Gold Glove Award winner (1998, 2002, 2003, 2004) and a two-time Silver Slugger (2001, 2003).
Only Jeff Kent (306), Ryne Sandberg (277), Joe Morgan (266) and Rogers Hornsby (265) have more career home runs as a second baseman than Boone, who has hit 251 home runs.
Bret is a career .266 (1,775-6,683) hitter, with 927 runs scored, 366 doubles, 28 triples, 252 home runs (one as a pinch-hitter), 1,021 RBI and 94 stolen bases in 1,780 major league games with the Mariners, Reds, Braves, Padres and Twins.
Boone has the sixth highest career fielding percentage (.986, 117 errors in 8,149 total chances) at second base (minimum of 1,000 games).
He became a member of the first three generation family in major league history (grandfather, Ray, father, Bob, and brother, Aaron).
Bret and his dad, Bob rank eighth on the All-Time Home Run List (357) in career home runs by a father-son combination. Jose Cruz, Jr. and Sr. are in seventh place with 358 home runs while Barry and Bobby Bonds are first with 1,040.
In 2004, he hit .251 (149-593) with 74 runs scored, 30 doubles, 24 home runs and 83 RBI in 148 games with Seattle.
Boone's best season came in 2001 with the Mariners. He hit .331 (206-623) with 118 runs scored, 37 doubles, three triples, 37 home runs, 141 RBI in 158 contests. Bret finished third in the MVP voting that season and helped Seattle to 116 regular season wins and a trip to the American League Championship series.