Mariners promoting top prospects Danny Hultzen and Nick Franklin to Triple-A

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Danny Hultzen jumped directly to Double-A after the Mariners took him with the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft and now Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that the left-hander from the University of Virginia is headed to Triple-A after just 13 pro starts.

Hultzen was ridiculously good at Double-A, throwing 75 innings with a 1.19 ERA and 79/32 K/BB ratio while allowing just two homers and a .151 opponents’ batting average. The promotion puts him one step from the majors at age 22.

Along with Hultzen the Mariners are also promoting their top position player prospect, shortstop Nick Franklin, to Triple-A after the 2009 first-round pick hit .322 with four homers and an .822 OPS in 57 games at Double-A.

Both were selected for the Double-A All-Star game, which was played last night, and clearly the Mariners wanted them to participate before moving up to Triple-A.

Mets sign Matt Purke to minors deal

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The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.

Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.

While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.