Seattle Mariners

In latest effort to stabilize bullpen, Mariners acquire Matt Magill from Minnesota

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The Mariners changed a lot in the offseason. Watch as fans struggle mightily on opening day to name as many players as they can on the roster.
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The Mariners changed a lot in the offseason. Watch as fans struggle mightily on opening day to name as many players as they can on the roster.

Continuing their season-long trend of auditioning pitchers, the Seattle Mariners acquired right-handed reliever Matt Magill from the Twins on Sunday in exchange for cash considerations.

Magill’s addition fills Seattle’s 40-man roster, and a corresponding move on the active 25-man roster will be made when he reports this week. He was designated for assignment by Minnesota on Thursday after posting a 2-0 record and 4.45 ERA in 28 relief appearances, walking 15 and striking out 36 in 28 1/3 innings.

Assuming his first appearance with the club comes in the next several days, Magill would become the 32nd reliever the Mariners have tried out this season, which is, by far, the most by any team in the majors.

“We’ve given opportunity to a number of different guys like this,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Some have worked out great, some haven’t. ... We’ll give him an opportunity and get a chance to meet him when he gets in here in the next day or so.”

Magill was a solid option for the Twins early on this season, after spending the first month of the season on the injured list with shoulder tendinitis. Through his first 14 outings, from late April to early June, he was 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA, allowing just two earned runs in 13 1/3 innings while walking five and striking out 18.

He has pitched in parts of four major league seasons with the Dodgers, Reds and Twins. He has high-leverage and multi-inning experience, and favors his fastball, slider and curveball.

“He’ll be in our bullpen and we’ll see what kind of role he works into there,” Servais said. “He does have good stuff. He throws hard. He checks a lot of the boxes as far as the analytical side goes — in his spin rates, and how his ball breaks and moves.

“A lot of times these guys put a different uniform on, and they get a little different opportunity, and certainly we’re in a different situation here than Minnesota is in, so we can afford to give him multiple looks.”

Of the in-season pitching acquisitions the Mariners have made, Austin Adams is the only reliever who has made a significantly positive impact on a bullpen still searching for stability more than 100 games in.

Acquired from the Nationals in May, Adams had a 3.47 ERA in 21 games with a 41-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio before he was sent to the IL with a lat strain the first week of July.

Connor Sadzeck, who was acquired from Texas in April, also showed some early promise with a 2.66 ERA over 20 games, but he has been out since the first week of June with right elbow inflammation, and is currently working through a rehab program in Arizona.

None of the other in-season pick-ups have an ERA of less than 4.00 with Seattle this season. Anthony Bass (4.24 ERA in 19 games), Matt Carasiti (5.87 in nine) and Matt Wisler (6.75 in four) are still with the Mariners, but have struggled to find footing.

Jesse Biddle (9.82 in 11) was designated for assignment in June and picked up by Texas, and Mike Wright (6.75 in nine) has been designated for assignment twice, though he remains in the organization with Triple-A Tacoma.

ON THE MEND

Relievers Brandon Brennan (shoulder strain) and Hunter Strickland (lat strain) were both in Seattle on Sunday to get in some additional work between rehab outings with Triple-A Tacoma.

Brennan, who is likely on the fastest track to return to the Mariners’ ailing bullpen — Seattle has six relievers on the IL — was scheduled to throw 10-15 pitches in a bullpen session, and said the plan is to make his next rehab appearance with the Rainiers on Wednesday in Reno. He will likely make another appearance with the Triple-A club in Sacramento later in the week, and be evaluated from there.

“We’re not in a rush to get me back,” Brennan said. “They want me to be fully healthy and ready to go when I do come back.”

Though perhaps still a week or more out from returning to the big league club, Brennan said his shoulder has improved.

“It’s way better than it was,” he said. “The easiest way for me to tell that was I could actually throw the ball glove-side. Before I could not.”

He’s thrown three scoreless innings with the Rainiers in three appearances since June 15, allowing two hits and three walks while striking out one.

Strickland made his first rehab appearance with Tacoma on Saturday, tossing a scoreless frame, including walking one on 15 pitches. Servais said reports on Strickland’s velocity and breaking ball were positive.

The plan is for Strickland to throw three or four outings before the Mariners decide what his next step is.

HALL OF FAMER

Thousands gathered at T-Mobile Park early Sunday afternoon to watch Edgar Martinez’s Hall of Fame induction, which was shown on the big screen in center field.

Fans gave Martinez several rounds of applause during sections of his speech, particularly when he thanked former manager Lou Piniella and teammates Ken Griffey Jr. and Jay Buhner for playing important roles in his career.

Martinez, a beloved player in Seattle for the entirety of his 18-season career, was selected to the 2019 class in his final year of eligibility with 85.4 percent of the vote, and becomes the second inductee to enter the Hall of Fame as a Mariner, joining Griffey (2016).

Martinez was a seven-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger Award winner. He won a pair of American League batting titles in 1992 and 1995, and led the majors in doubles both of those seasons. He also led the AL in on-base percentage three times in 1995, 1998 and 1999.

He posted a career slash line of .312/.418/.515 and was honored as the AL’s outstanding designated hitter five times during his career. That award is now named after him.

Lauren Smith covers the Seattle Mariners for The News Tribune. She previously covered high school sports at TNT and The Olympian, beginning in 2015. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and Emerald Ridge High School.
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