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Mets sign Tommy Hunter and Mike Montgomery to minor league deals

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Both players have been invited to major league spring training.

Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images

The Mets have signed right-handed relief pitcher Tommy Hunter and left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery to minor league deals. Both players have been invited to major league spring training.

The 34-year-old Hunter made his major league debut back in 2008 with the Rangers and spent the first few years of his major league career as a starting pitcher. The Rangers traded him to the Orioles in 2011, and in his first one-and-a-half seasons in Baltimore, he spent most of his time in the rotation but made some appearances out of the bullpen, too. But since the start of the 2013 season, Hunter has appeared exclusively as a reliever.

Over the course of those eight seasons, Hunter has a 3.24 ERA and 3.42 FIP in 394.0 innings of work. He spent time with the Orioles, Cubs, Indians, the Orioles again, the Rays, and the Phillies during those seasons. His most recent very good season came in 2017 with the Rays, as he had a 2.61 ERA in 58.2 innings of work. He followed that up with a 3.80 ERA for the Phillies in 2018 and then pitched just 5.1 innings for Philadelphia in 2019. Last year, he had a 4.01 ERA in 24.2 innings. What’s most concerning is that Hunter—who saw a major jump in velocity when he converted to full-time relief work—averaged just 93.01 miles per hour on his fastball last year, a significant drop from the mid-to-upper 90s fastball he had from 2013 through 2019.

As for Montgomery, the 31-year-old has been in the big leagues since 2015 and has split his time between starting and relief work. In total, he had a 3.84 ERA and 4.34 FIP in 541.0 innings of work. From 2016 through 2018, he had a 3.35 ERA in 35 starts and five relief appearances for the Mariners and Cubs. Over the past two years, though, he’s racked up a 4.95 ERA in 96.1 innings for the Cubs and Royals.

Given the state of the Mets’ rotation and bullpen, both pitchers figure to have a chance at making the Opening Day roster, at least until the Mets sign more pitchers who are better.