Mets release slumping veteran Adrian Gonzalez

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The New York Mets have announced the release of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez after the team defeated the cross-town rival Yankees on Sunday.

In another move, the Mets designated catcher Jose Lobaton for assignment and called up utilityman Ty Kelly from Triple-A as well.

Gonzalez was hardly the reason for the poor offense, but he was a part of it.

In his final nine games with the Mets, the 36-year-old Gonzalez went 3-for-28 with a double, a walk and seven strikeouts. He'll conclude his Mets tenure with a.237/.299/.373 slash line and six homers over 187 PA, with the bulk of his at-bats coming against right-handed pitching. Smith entered spring training with at least the chance to compete for a big-league spot, but he showed up late to the first spring training game and then missed time with a quad injury.

Ranked as one of baseball's top-100 prospects coming into last season, Smith's star dimmed after a mediocre start to his MLB career, as he hit just.198/.262/.395 and struck out a whopping 49 times over 183 PA last season.

Gonzalez's departure is the end of a failed gamble the Mets took in January, when they signed the veteran to the minimum. Smith did appear in two games for the Mets in mid-May.

The Mets also could play outfielders Jay Bruce and Jose Bautista at first base.

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