The Seattle Mariners, already involved in a couple of trades this offseason, have now filled a major need through free agency. After spending 2016 without a true lefty specialist, the Mariners signed Marc Rzepczynski on Friday to be that guy for 2017. According to multiple reports, the deal will run for two years and is worth $11 million. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports was first to report the deal.
Source: #Mariners on verge of signing free-agent LH reliever Marc Rzepczynski. Last-minute details to cover. Will be pending physical.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 1, 2016
Seattle Mariners Sign Marc Rzepczynski
Rzepczynski, 31, has seen action in many cities over his eight-year career. He came up with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2009, and has since suited up for the St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, San Diego Padres, Oakland A’s, and Washington Nationals.
A career 3.80 pitcher, Rzepczynski has had great years and mediocre years in his time in the majors. Last season, however, was perhaps the strongest of his career. Across 70 appearances and 47.2 innings with the A’s and Nationals, Rzepczynski posted a 2.64 ERA (a career-best) and 11 holds, along with 46 strikeouts. He was perhaps the top lefty specialist on the market, and one of the better relief options available.
However, he does carry some risk. He has recorded ERAs over four in three different seasons, and finished with an ugly 5.66 mark as recently as 2015. He also earned a 1.57 WHIP last year. He allowed 29 walks and gave up almost a hit per inning. As lefty specialists, or LOOGYs, are generally called on to face just one or two batters per outing, his 46 hits allowed are alarming. On the bright side, he only gave up one home run all year.
All in all, this looks like a good move for the Mariners. The years and dollar figures do not make for a large investment, and Rzepczynski was perhaps the best available option to fill this particular team need. If Rzepczynski can carry over his strong performance from 2016, the Mariners will have few complaints.