So Long, Soler

Though he provided the club with 45 occasionally-acceptable big league innings last season–including a two-hit shutout of Arizona in June–the Mets have released burly Cuban righthander Alay Soler after three spring outings, according to Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News.

Soler, who entered 2007 ranked as the Mets No. 10 prospect, had posted an 8.22 spring ERA and was cut following a 1 2/3-inning stint in which he let in two runs on three hits.

The organization had soured on the 27-year-old Soler, who is listed at 240 pounds, after he showed up to 2006 spring training–his first–out of shape. Poor conditioning during the season contributed to an Achilles’ heel problem that limited Soler’s effectiveness, with the effects painfully apparent during back-to-back eight-run meltdowns against the Red Sox and Yankees in June and July.

He would not resurface in the majors for the duration of the season.

Though he was signed in August 2004, Soler did not make his U.S. debut until 2006 because of difficulty securing a visa. His excision from the Mets rids the club of the final major league acquisition of former general manager Jim Duquette, a list headed by Mike Cameron, Kris Benson, Kazuo Matsui, Victor Zambrano and Braden Looper.