Mets sign depth arms Montgomery, Hunter

February 14th, 2021

NEW YORK -- The Mets continued adding to their pitching depth on Sunday, signing veterans and to Minor League contracts. Both received invitations to big league Spring Training, bringing the Mets’ total number of invites to 70.

Montgomery, a former first-round Draft pick, has oscillated between starting and relief work throughout his six-year career with the Mariners, Cubs and Royals. He earned a World Series ring with the Cubs in 2016, allowing one run in five Fall Classic appearances. Most recently, Montgomery served as a multi-inning reliever in Kansas City, spending two brief stints in the Majors in 2020.

With the Mets, Montgomery offers another left-handed bullpen option behind Aaron Loup, with the ability to stretch out as a starter if needed.

Hunter also broke into the big leagues as a starter back in 2008, but has worked exclusively as a reliever over he past eight seasons. He posted a 4.01 ERA in 24 appearances for the Phillies last season, with 25 strikeouts over 24 2/3 innings.

Hunter will compete with many others for a job in the Mets’ Opening Day bullpen. An additional spot exists due to Seth Lugo’s impending elbow surgery, but the Mets have a half-dozen locks or near-locks for the bullpen in Edwin Díaz, Trevor May, Jeurys Familia, Dellin Betances, Miguel Castro and Loup. That leaves space for somewhere between one to three pitchers to earn jobs, with Montgomery and Hunter competing against Robert Gsellman, Sam McWilliams and many others.

Previous Minor League signings include veterans Jerry Blevins, Trevor Hildenberger and Arodys Vizcaino.

And the Mets could still add additional arms before Spring Training. They have been linked to free agent Trevor Rosenthal, among others, in recent weeks.