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Mets sign Hunter Strickland to minor league deal

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The Mets announced on Monday afternoon that the club inked veteran reliever Hunter Strickland to a minor league contract and plan to add him to the 2020 player pool.

Strickland, 31, was released by the Nationals in mid-March after allowing nine runs (eight earned) on 12 hits and a walk with nine strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings during spring training. The right-hander is coming off of a horrific 2019 showing in which he yielded 15 runs over 24 1/3 frames. It’s been a rough year and a half.

If Strickland can rediscover his mojo, he could be a serviceable bullpen arm for the Mets. From 2015-18 with the Giants, Strickland posted an even 3.00 ERA, though he struggled with control in those more recent seasons. The Mets had the fifth-worst bullpen ERA in baseball last year at 4.99.

Along with Strickland, the Mets also signed Melky Cabrera and Gordon Beckham to minor league deals on Monday.

Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season

Kopech has opted out
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Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.

The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”

Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.

Now, however, Kopech has opted out.