The Mets announced Monday that they’ve signed right-hander Hunter Strickland and re-signed outfielder Ryan Cordell, whom they’d previously released. Both received non-guaranteed deals, and both players are “expected” to be added to the Mets’ 60-man pool, per the club.
Strickland, 31, joins the Mets with nearly five years of big league service time under his belt. He was limited by a Grade 2 lat strain last year and struggled enormously when on the mound, pitching to a combined 5.55 ERA in 24 1/3 frames between the Mariners and Nationals. His track record on the mound prior to that unsightly campaign, however, was strong. From 2014-18, Strickland worked to a combined 2.91 ERA (3.40 FIP) with averages of 8.4 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and 0.7 HR/9.
Of course, Strickland has drawn as much if not more attention for other reasons. He incited a benches-clearing brawl in 2017 after throwing at Bryce Harper — an incident most believe to be the result of a years-old grudge against Harper for homering twice off Strickland in the 2014 NLDS. The next year, upon being pulled from a game after blowing a saved, Strickland punched a door out of frustration and sustained a broken right hand. He required surgery and missed the next six weeks.
Cordell, 28, was once a fairly well-regarded prospect with the Rangers and Brewers but hasn’t put it together in the Majors. He’s had 287 plate appearances at the game’s top level but managed just a .205/.267/.335 slash line in that time. Cordell does possess a more solid .266/.323/.455 slash in three Triple-A seasons, and he’s capable of playing any of the three outfield slots.