A year after eliminating their Gulf Coast League team in a cost-saving maneuver, the Mets have restored the squad for 2013.
The return gives the Mets nine minor league affiliates -- matching the Mariners and Rays for the most in the majors. According to the Mets, 11 organizations have eight affiliates, while 16 have seven affiliates.
The reintroduction of the GCL team, which primarly is for newly signed players, is necessary because the new collective bargaining agreement results in draftees signing more quickly -- in time to participate in games within weeks of the draft in large numbers, according to the Mets.
The GCL team is based at the organization's Port St. Lucie, Fla., complex.