TThe Mets announced the signings of five players to minor-league contracts Monday: outfielder Melky Cabrera, reliever Hunter Strickland, infielder Gordon Beckham, righthander Erasmo Ramirez and outfielder Ryan Cordell.
All five were added to the Mets’ 60-man player pool, which is up to 50. Players report to Citi Field by Wednesday, with the first team workout set for Friday.
General manager Brodie Van Wagenen said the Mets plan to add more players in the next week-plus — especially when they open MCU Park in Brooklyn as a camp overflow site — but probably won’t include any lower-level prospects.
“But this team is built to win, and our intention at least at the early going of this process is to have players in camp that we think are capable of helping us at the major-league level this year,” Van Wagenen said. “We want to make sure they’re able to contribute to our big league team sooner rather than later if we’re going to bring them in to camp.”
Cabrera, Strickland and Beckham are all new to the organization. Cabrera, a close friend of Mets second baseman Robinson Cano, had been a free agent since the end of last season. Beckham was released by the Padres in March, Strickland by the Nationals in March.
Ramirez and Cordell were technically recently released by the Mets, then re-signed as a procedural move. Both were in major-league camp with the Mets this year.
Cabrera, an All-Star in 2012, hit .280/.313/.399 with seven homers and 43 RBIs in 133 games with the Pirates last year.
Strickland struggled with the Nats and Mariners last year (5.55 ERA) but in six major-league seasons has a 3.16 ERA. He perhaps is known best for giving up monster home runs to Bryce Harper — formerly of the Nationals, now of the Phillies — in the 2014 playoffs and then exacting revenge in May 2017 by hitting him with a pitch, triggering Harper rushing the mound.
Beckham, a top prospect for the White Sox more than a decade ago, slashed .215/.271/.372 in 83 games with the Tigers last year.
Ramirez impressed in camp before MLB shut everything down due to the coronavirus. Across parts of nine seasons in the majors, he has appeared in 193 games (92 starts), posting a 4.40 ERA and 1.26 WHIP.
Cordell also had a strong showing in February and March, particularly with his defense and athleticism. In 116 games with the White Sox the past two seasons, he had a .205/.267/.335 slash line.
The Mets signed second-round righthander J.T. Ginn for a $2.9 million bonus, a source said. He was the last of the team’s six draft picks to officially joining the organization. Ginn, from Mississippi State, was a potential first-rounder before Tommy John surgery in March. … Noah Syndergaard is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, also in March, in Florida with his own trainers. … Tim Tebow remains a candidate to join the Mets’ player pool, Van Wagenen said.
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