The Mets announced this afternoon that they’ve acquired right-hander Ariel Jurado from the Rangers in exchange for a player to be named later and (not or) cash considerations. Outfielder Ryan Cordell was designated for assignment to open a spot on the team’s 40-man roster. Jurado has been assigned to the Mets’ alternate training site in Brooklyn.
Jurado, 24, was designated by assignment in Texas back on Friday when the team selected Greg Bird and Jimmy Herget to the big league roster. The former top prospect has logged 177 innings with the Rangers over the past two seasons but struggled considerably at the MLB level. Opposing hitters have clobbered him for a 5.85 ERA and posted a combined .305/.351/.502 slash against him in 782 plate appearances. Jurado has averaged 5.2 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and 1.42 HR/9 to go along with a 47.9 percent ground-ball rate.
Obviously, that’s not a pretty collection of numbers, but Jurado has a solid minor league track record. He’s largely skipped over Triple-A — though he pitched well in the 22 2/3 frames he did log there — but put together a more palatable 3.96 ERA with 5.6 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and 0.92 HR/9 in 302 1/3 innings of Double-A ball. Baseball Prospectus rated Jurado as the game’s No. 72 prospect back in 2017, and he’s consistently generated ground-ball rates comfortably north of 51 percent. Infield defense isn’t exactly the Mets’ strength, of course, but the organization is in need of some pitching depth after seeing Noah Syndergaard (Tommy John surgery) and Marcus Stroman (calf tear) go down with injuries. Offseason additions Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha have both struggled early as well.
Cordell, 28, went 1-for-4 with a stolen base and a pair of strikeouts in his short time with the Mets. Jake Marisnick’s hamstring injury opened the door for the former Rangers/White Sox/Brewers prospect to make the club as a reserve outfielder behind J.D. Davis, Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto. However, the Mets’ recent acquisition of Billy Hamilton apparently rendered Cordell superfluous in the club’s eyes.
Cordell has appeared in parts of three big league seasons, hitting a combined .205/.267/.333 in 291 trips to the dish. Those struggles notwithstanding, he’s put together a respectable minor league track record and is capable of playing all three outfield spots, so a club needing some depth might take a look at Cordell if he’s available on the waiver wire. New York will have a week to trade Cordell, release him or attempt to run him through waivers.