The 35-year-old Hunter is a veteran who, once he gets into a game, will have pitched in each MLB season since 2008. He was largely a starter in his first few seasons but transitioned to bullpen duties full-time for the 2013 season. From that year to the present, he’s logged 402 MLB innings with a 3.18 ERA, 20.7% strikeout rate, 5.3% walk rate and 45.9% ground ball rate.
He was with the Mets last year, but pitched just eight innings before going on the injured list due to a back issue. He was later traded to the Rays for financial reasons but never made it back to the field, having undergone back surgery. After eventually returning to health, he held a showcase for teams in April and then returned to the Mets’ organization on a minor league deal.
Pitching for the Triple-A Syracuse Mets this year, Hunter has thrown 13 2/3 innings over eight appearances. His 4.61 ERA maybe doesn’t excite, though the peripherals paint a rosier picture. His 23% strikeout rate and 1.6% walk rate are being undercut somewhat by a .318 BABIP and 56.3% strand rate.
Hunter isn’t currently on the club’s 40-man roster, meaning a corresponding move will be necessary when his contract is selected.