Seattle Mariners trade rumors suggest the front office is trying hard to acquire a relief pitcher. These Mariners trade rumors aren’t surprising to any fans that have been watching the team during Spring Training. As MLB analyst Shannon Drayer wrote about in a recent report, the Mariners have been seeking relief pitching for a while now. The question immediately becomes how much new general manager Jerry Dipoto is willing to pay to improve the bullpen.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Charlie Furbush won’t be ready for the regular season as he continues to work his way back from surgery. Dipoto made that very clear when speaking to the press recently, which already puts the bullpen in a bad situation without its left-handed specialist. Evan Scribner and Justin De Fratus are also down, taking two more pitchers out of the running for the 25-man roster. Opening Day is getting very close, and the Mariners have some very important decisions to make in regard to the bullpen.
One thing that these Seattle Mariners trade rumors have provided is a look at the pitchers who have nearly clinched spots in the Opening Day bullpen. Steve Cishek and Joaquin Benoit are slated to be the main eighth and ninth inning pitchers for the team. Cishek will begin the season as the closer, but the two pitchers could become interchangeable in the late inning roles. The other bullpen arms could be former starting pitcher Mike Montgomery, Vidal Nuno, and Joel Peralta. Peralta has had recent struggles, but options may be limited for the Mariners.
So far in Spring Training, Steve Cishek has been the most consistent pitcher in the bullpen, posting a 0.00 ERA and 0.60 WHIP over five appearances. Mike Montgomery has a 1.59 ERA and 1.24 WHIP over 5 2/3 innings, Joaquin Benoit has a 2.25 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over four innings, Vidal Nuno has a 3.97 ERA and 1.32 WHIP over 11 1/3 innings, and Joel Peralta is at a 7.88 ERA and 1.63 WHIP over eight innings pitched. It’s also possible that the team could call back David Rollins, who posted a 2.57 ERA and 0.71 WHIP before getting sent back to minor league camp.
Drayer notes that if the Mariners trade rumors don’t evolve into anything soon, there are other relief pitchers who have done well during Spring Training. They could possibly get longer look from Dipoto and manager Scott Servais if Opening Day arrives before an acquisition takes place. Those pitchers are Blake Parker (2.70 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 6 2/3 innings), Donn Roach (1.59 ERA, 1.41 WHIp, 11 1/3 innings), and Joe Weiland (6.55 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 11 innings).
New Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais also spoke at-length about the bullpen situation. He started by discussing the move that Mike Montgomery could make to the bullpen as well as how he could be interchanged with Vidal Nuno in the bullpen.
“I like Mike’s stuff. I think he has got a chance to have a huge year for us in that role; it’s just a matter of getting him comfortable. But that’s what it’s going to be, so why not? I think it is important that he knows the first guy he is going to face most nights is a left-handed hitter. Obviously, he didn’t get the first guy out the other day, but it is a work in progress.
Nuno has thrown the ball well. He can throw any pitch in any count, different angles. I think he has a very good track record against left-handed hitters. We will see how Mike continues to progress.”
Opening Day 2016 for the Seattle Mariners falls on Monday, April 4. The team will begin the 2016 MLB season with a three-game series against the Texas Rangers before returning to Safeco Field for the home opener on Friday, April 8. The Mariners have six games at home during that stand, with three against the Oakland Athletics before playing three more against the Rangers. There are still a lot of question marks that need addressed before then, but fans can expect to hear the Mariners linked to any team shopping relief pitchers on the trade market.
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