The Rays recently signed right-handed reliever Hunter Strickland to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training, per Danny Russell of DRaysBay (h/t: Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times).
Strickland has already appeared in the majors with four teams – the Giants, Mariners, Nationals and Mets – since his 2014 debut. He was a tremendous part of the Giants’ bullpen from 2014-17, during which he combined for 180 2/3 innings of 2.64 ERA/3.58 SIERA pitching, posted a 23.7 percent strikeout rate against a 7.9 percent walk rate, and averaged 96.5 mph on his fastball.
While Strickland looked like a high-end reliever earlier in his career, he was not nearly as effective in the previous three seasons. His fastball velocity has largely remained intact, but offenses tattooed him in 2019, when he put together career worsts in ERA (5.55) and strikeout percentage (17.1) over 24 1/3 innings between the Mariners and Nationals. The 32-year-old inked a minors deal with the Mets before last season, but he threw just 3 1/3 frames and couldn’t consistently stay on their roster during the campaign.