The last two signings by the Good Ship Mariner are pitchers, both signed to minor league contracts, both the prototypical journeyman pitcher.
The youngest at 30, is lefty Oliver Perez, 58-69 in his career with 4.63 ERA. At one time he was on track to be the next big thing. He had the talent, but control and head problems derailed a promising career. He shows flashes of his old self now and then, and one hopes, as many organizations have in the past, that he can regain his form. Signing him to minor league deal is a no risk move.
The oldest at 37 is Kevin Millwood-at least his family is reporting the signing today, January 23. He started 9 games for the Rockies last season, going 4-3 with a 3.98 ERA. In his career he is 163-140 with a 4.10 ERA.
Both pitchers have bounced around and it is doubtful, no it is improbable either can replace Pineda. When you consider the Mariners already can choose from Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, Blake Beavan, Charlie Furbush, Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, newly acquired Hector Noesi from the Yankees, newly signed Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, adding Perez and Millwood gives them 10 starters to choose from.
What the Mariners have done is what pro football teams do on a yearly basis in their training camps. Bring in players at each position to compete. And the competition for the Mariner rotation will be strong.
Big Ed Walsh is unavailable. He died
We know Felix is number one, Vargas a likely number two, and Iwakuma a probable third in the rotation. It is good to have pitching depth in the rotation as some will have down years, some will have injuries, some young guys may not be ready and having all those compete for two or three spots can only make the staff better.
Now if they could only get depth for position players, like power, or even hitters who can hit in the .280’s, not in the .240’s would be nice. Retreads welcome.