WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- Almost every time general manager Omar Minaya ran through the names of the candidates for the Mets' rotation during the offseason, he either omitted Alay Soler or mentioned him as an afterthought. It didn't mean anything or it meant everything. Either way, Soler never loomed large in the Mets' plans. And now he doesn't loom at all.
The Mets released the 27-year-old right-hander on Tuesday, making a move that cost them a pitcher who once had impressed and one that would have cost them had they retained him. By making the move when they did, before 15 days remained prior to Opening Day, the club saved about $100,000.
Had the Mets waited, they would have owed Soler 45 days of Major League severance pay. As it was, they were obligated to pay him 30 days of Minor League severance. His split contract called for him to be paid at annual rates of $620,000, for days on a Minor League roster, or $820,000 for days on the Major League roster.
But while the decision was based mostly on baseball, the timing of it was affected by the rules.
Soler was responsible for two of the best starts by a Met last season -- a complete game, two-hit shutout of the D-backs, one of three Mets shutouts, and a seven-inning, one-run, six-hit performance against the Dodgers in the previous start.
But he was mostly ineffective thereafter and finished his Major League tour in July with a 2-3 record and 6.00 ERA in eight starts.
His spring ERA in four appearances, spanning 7 2/3 innings, was 8.22.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.