Jerry Dipoto isn’t finished making deals this winter. The Mariners announced the signing of former Giants closer Hunter Strickland this morning to a one-year deal.
Welcome to Seattle, Hunter Strickland!
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) January 28, 2019
With the departure of Edwin Diaz, the Mariners were in desperate need of a closer or a closer-type pitcher. Good thing the free agent market had one laying around. Max Povse was DFA’d in this deal. Povse’s DFA’ing was necessary to make room for Strickland on the 40-man roster.
With the addition of Strickland to Seattle, the bullpen has gotten some life in it. The Mariners bullpen has taken loses this offseason with both Diaz and Alex Colome being traded. Sam Tuivailala suffered an Achilles injury last season, he isn’t due back until June. Even with Strickland being added to the bullpen it’s gonna be hard to see just how good this Mariners bullpen is. Chasen Bradford, Dan Altavilla, Shawn Armstrong, and Roenis Elias are the only guys left from last year’s dominant bullpen.
Strickland last season saved a career-high 14 games last season for the Giants. Strickland is coming into the Seattle bullpen with a lifetime ERA of 2.97. Strickland’s ERA last season was a career high for him as he finished 2018 with a 3.97 ERA. Though Strickland hasn’t been a closer all his career he’s definitely looking forward to taking on the role in this Mariners bullpen.
Last season the Mariners had a combined 4.13 ERA as a team. The addition of Strickland could help keep that at where it was last season. Again, Seattle did lose a lot in free agency and in trades. Nick Vincent, Juan Nicasio, Erasmo Ramirez, Ariel Miranda, and Adam Warren were all lost. Though with these loses things still look bright for the Mariners this season. They still have a team that could end up fighting for another Wild Card spot. Only time will tell.