PEORIA, Ariz. — The Mariners’ search for a veteran to fill a role in the middle of their rotation now appears likely to include left-hander Randy Wolf and right-hander Zach Miner.
Both are close to reaching minor-league deals that include an invitation to big-league camp, which opens Wednesday when pitchers and catchers report to the Mariners’ renovated spring complex
Wolf, 37, and Miner, 31, each have a history of elbow problems. Wolf missed last season while recovering from a second Tommy John surgery; Miner is still seeking to regain his form after missing the 2010 season.
The club is seeking a veteran — at least one — to serve as a bridge in their rotation from All-Stars Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma to prospects such as Taijuan Walker and James Paxton.
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The top candidate for that role appears to be right-hander Scott Baker, another recovering Tommy John patient signed last month to a minor-league deal. He was 63-48 with a 4.15 ERA for Minnesota from 2005-11.
Wolf is 132-117 with a 4.20 ERA in 376 games over 14 seasons with six clubs. He was a combined 5-10 in 2012 with a 5.65 ERA in 30 games for Milwaukee and Baltimore.
He previously underwent Tommy John surgery in 2005.
Miner, 31, is a veteran of five big-league seasons, including four with Detroit, where he was 25-20 in 157 games as a swingman from 2006-09 before suffering an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.
He spent last year in the Philadelphia organization, primarily at Class AAA Lehigh Valley, where he was 5-6 with a 3.90 ERA in 27 games, including 12 starts.