PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Jason Isringhausen auditioned for the New York Mets with a brief bullpen session Tuesday.
The 38-year-old reliever hasn't pitched in a game since elbow-ligament replacement surgery in June 2009 following a brief stint with the Tampa Bay Rays. The right-hander's major league career began with the Mets in 1995, and Isringhausen pitched for Oakland from 1999-01 when Mets special assistant J.P. Ricciardi worked for the Athletics.
"All I need is a chance to throw in spring somewhere and hope for the best," said Isringhausen, who was drafted by the Mets in 1991. "I'm just asking for a chance. No expectations. We'll have fun with it and throw the baseball."
Mets officials will discuss whether to offer Isringhausen a spring training invite.
"It's the first time we've seen him," Ricciardi said. "It's just kind of digest everything and take it from there. He threw well. Obviously he's in shape. He's been throwing inside for so long, it's a different environment."
Isringhausen has had three major surgeries on his pitching arm during a 14-year career, including one that kept him from playing in 1998 while with the Mets. He became an All-Star with Oakland in 2000 and St. Louis in 2005, and he led the NL with 47 saves in 2004. He has a 45-49 career record with a 3.60 ERA and 293 saves.
Cincinnati Reds offered Isringhausen a spot in camp, but he thinks there may be a better opportunity on the Mets.
"Hopefully I can bring an elder person, so to speak, to help out some guys if they need it," Isringhausen said. "his was hard to pass up. It's where it all started."
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, who also watched the throwing session, seemed open to the idea of extending an offer to Isringhausen.
"We're always looking for ability, so we'll see what happens," Alderson said. "We do have fewer people in major league camp currently, so we'll talk about whether someone like Jason would be added to the major league spring training roster, but that depends on the kind of shape he is in and what he needs to do over the next month. That opportunity to progress may be better in minor league camp than as a major league player."