Meet Scott Strickland
This time, Scott Strickland said yes.
So often in the past, the 33-year-old waved no thanks to the offer. That changed when he agreed to a Minor League deal with the Marlins with an invitation to Spring Training.
Strickland, who last pitched in the big leagues in 2005 with the Mets, has been bouncing around with various Triple-A clubs the past four years. He was in the Pirates system in 2006, followed by the Padres in ’07, and the Yankees in ’08, and finally the Dodgers a year ago.
After being turned away so many times before, the Marlins finally landed Strickland, who broke in with the Montreal Expos in 1999. Because Marlins management previously owned the Expos, team officials have known Strickland for more than a decade.
“They’ve been trying to get me the last three or four years,” the right-hander said. “For whatever reason, I’ve always gone somewhere else. Every year, they’ve tried to sign me, and I’ve always gone somewhere else. I don’t know exactly why. Whether it was money, or whatever else. This year I didn’t wait to compare offers. I was like, ‘You know what, these guys came to me quickly like they’ve always done, and I’m going to sign.’ “
Strickland has six years of MLB service time, and he’s appeared in 236 games. In each of the past two seasons, he’s made at least 50 Minor League appearances.
“I’ve been looking for an opportunity to come back to the big leagues,” he said. “I’ve been to Triple-A. I’ve been with the Pirates, San Diego, Yankees, Dodgers and now here. I’ve been throwing well. It seems there has never been an opportunity.”
Perhaps his luck will change with the Marlins.
— Joe Frisaro