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Mets acquire RHP Ariel Jurado from Rangers

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Ryan Cordell was DFA’d to make room on the 40-man roster.

MLB: AUG 28 Rangers at Angels Photo by Kiyoshi Mio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Mets have acquired RHP Ariel Jurado from the Rangers in a trade for a player to be named later and cash. In a corresponding 40-man roster move, they’ve designated OF Ryan Cordell for assignment. Jurado is expected to report to the Mets alternate site in Brooklyn.

The 24 year old Jurado was designated for assignment on Friday by Texas after spending the first week of the 2020 season at the Rangers alternate site. Jurado is a fastball-first pitcher, leaning most heavily on a sinker that averages around 92 mph, as well as a four-seam that is a tick hotter. The righty mixes in a mid-80s slider and changeup, as well as a curveball around 79-80 mph. Jurado made 44 appearances in Texas between 2018 and 2019, including 26 starts, with a 5.85 ERA in 177.0 innings. Fielding independent metrics like him a bit more, with a 5.07 FIP that looks a bit better factoring in his hitter-friendly home park in Texas, but Jurado’s inability to miss bats in the bigs - just a 13.2% strikeout rate - puts a ton of pressure on the groundballs he generates to turn into inning-saving outs and double plays.

Jurado’s debut came in a 2018 call up to replace Cole Hamels, but his command-dependent profile has not made for much big league success. At his best, Jurado is able to dot his pitches on corners and miss barrels, but the juiciness of the baseball makes that a risky tightrope to walk. For the Mets, Jurado can offer some depth as a spot starter or long reliever, and that’s not nothing in a season where pitchers are dropping like flies league-wide, but it’s not much. A small silver lining is Jurado’s relative youth, as he’ll immediately become the second-youngest pitcher on the Mets 40-man roster behind Thomas Szapucki, giving at least a slight hint that further development could come, but his 6’1, 200 lbs frame doesn’t hint at much more physical projection.

Cordell’s DFA, meanwhile, is likely the result of the arrival of Billy Hamilton, as well as the impending shrinking of the roster to 28 players. The 28 year old has played some center field in each of his four appearances this year, but without much success at the plate in the past couple of years, he’s had a tough path to more playing time. Neither of these moves are more than depth clearances, and Cordell could quite possibly slip through waivers. Still, it’s not great to see Cordell DFA’d a few days after he was called up in a move that featured the DFA of RHP prospect Jordan Humphryes. The only thing of intrigue will be who the PTBNL is, though it is quite possible it’s a prospect not in the 60 player pool and will therefore not be announced until after the season’s end.