Mets waiver addition Max Kranick is the roster longshot to root for

We have something in common with Max Kranick.

Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Mets - Game Two
Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Mets - Game Two / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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By the time the 2024 New York Mets season begins, this team will have employed just about every MLB player we’ve never heard of. Waiver additions Cooper Hummel and Diego Castillo were recently DFA’d. It’s a revolving door on the now full 40-man roster.

The reason for Hummel’s DFA was a separate waiver claim of pitcher Max Kranick. Selected away from the Pittsburgh Pirates, sometimes these minimally used players have something about their past that stands out. In Kranick’s case, it’s not necessarily on the field.

Born in Scranton and raised in the area, Kranick didn’t grow up cheering for the major league affiliate of the local Triple-A squad. An affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies and now New York Yankees, Kranick was actually a Mets fan.

Root for Max Kranick because he is one of us

Bless whoever it was who would make the Sunday trip from the Pocono Mountains to Shea Stadium for Kranick most Sundays as a kid. Flushing is a long way from Dunder Mifflin.

The game referenced here was from July 10 as part of a doubleheader. Kranick was pitching in only his second MLB game after tossing 5 shutout innings in a victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. His childhood team wasn’t as kind. The Mets scored three earned runs against him in his 3 innings of work. Jeurys Familia, who recorded the final out of the fourth inning, picked up the win. Pete Alonso was the first to homer off of him.

Kranick hasn’t pitched much in the majors, making 9 total starts in 2021 for Pittsburgh and a pair of relief appearances in 2022. Tommy John Surgery in 2022 is what cost him most of the last two seasons. We can still consider him a starter, but with zero minor league options remaining and a presence on the 40-man roster currently, he’s behind a couple of other guys even for a bullpen role.

Roster management by the Mets this offseason, even on the fringes, has been a bit questionable. They’re loading up on arms who’ll either make the team or go into DFA limbo. There’s little risk to it, but one can question the scenario where David Stearns even sees Kranick being a possibility. He, too, cannot be optioned to the minor leagues. Could it be a case of hoping he’d pass through and Kranick accepts a minor league assignment? After all, this is his childhood team. He might just do it.

In either case, if you were looking for an underdog to root for this spring if he can even stay on the roster that long, Kranick is your guy.

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