Mets Sign RHP Greg Burke To Minors Deal, Will Re-Open Gulf Coast League Affiliate

The Mets announced Thursday that they will again field a Gulf Coast League affiliate after a one-year hiatus, a development that will give New York nine Minor League teams. The Mets will operate their Gulf Coast League affiliate out of the team’s Minor League complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Only two other teams — Seattle and Tampa Bay — have nine Minor League affiliates. Eleven teams have eight affiliates, and 16 clubs have just seven Minor League teams attached to them. New York’s decision to add another team was tied to the league’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

“The new CBA has accelerated the signing of players from the Draft,” said general manager Sandy Alderson as part of a press release. “And with the continuation of two teams in the Dominican Summer League, we need more rookie level roster space for our young players. We are happy to be back in the Gulf Coast League while retaining our affiliation in Kingsport of the Appalachian League.”

New York will also have an affiliate — Brooklyn — in the New York-Penn League. The Mets have their Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas and their Double-A affiliate in Binghamton. The club also has a Class A team in Port St. Lucie and another one in Savannah of the South Atlantic League. (

One small news item that got lost in the shuffle yesterday was that the Mets signed relief pitcher Greg Burke to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old Camden, N.J., native was signed by the Padres as an amateur free agent in 2006 and made his Major League debut with San Diego on May 16, 2009.

That year, his only season in the big leagues, he appeared in 48 games out of the bullpen, posting a 3-3 record and 4.14 ERA in 45 2/3 innings of work. He struck out 33 batters and walked 23 in that span.

Burke signed with the Orioles as a free agent on Feb. 10, 2012, but he never reached the big leagues and was granted free agency on Saturday.

He spent the 2012 season between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk in the Orioles’ system, combining to go 3-1 with a 1.53 ERA in 44 games out of the bullpen. (