The Mets announced the acquisition of right-hander A.J. Griffin early Monday morning, signing the pitcher to a minor-league deal.
Griffin, who just turned 30, will look to make the major league roster and provide the Mets with some more pitching depth after the staff was decimated by injuries in 2017. The team hopes to have the rotation back to full health in 2018, led by Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom.
As a starter for the Rangers the past two seasons, Griffin struggled to keep the ball in the park. He allowed 28 home runs over 119 innings in 2016, and followed that up by allowing 20 dingers in 77 1⁄3 innings last season. The struggles led to a 5.41 ERA over that span.
His home run problems actually originated in Oakland, where he started his major league career. After a solid rookie campaign in 2012, Griffin surrendered 36 home runs over 200 innings in 2013, which was the most in baseball. He would miss the next two seasons after elbow issues led to Tommy John surgery.
The Mets hope a change of scenery and a more pitcher-friendly park like Citi Field can help Griffin rediscover the success of his rookie season. He will have to make the big league roster first before he tests his skills in a bigger park.