The Mariners are reportedly close to signing veteran lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski to a contract to address a need in their bullpen.
Jerry Dipoto isn’t waiting around for the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings next week to finalize his roster. The Mariners’ general manager continues to tweak his team in preparation for 2017.
The latest possible addition could fill a glaring need. Multiple reports from ESPN and Fox Sports have the Mariners near a two-year deal with free agent lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski.
The Mariners have no official comment on any deal until it is complete. Baseball sources did confirm an agreement is in the process of being finalized. Rzepczynski would need to pass a physical first. So an announcement would likely come in the next day or two.
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Rzepczynski, who is nicknamed “Scrabble” for the complex pronunciation (zep-CHIN-ski) and consonant-filled spelling of his last name, is a well traveled left-on-left specialist. He’s played for six different organizations and made 419 appearances in his eight-year career. He split last season between the A’s and Nationals, posting a 3.57 ERA in 70 total appearances.
For his career, left-handed hitters have posted a .222 batting average (147-for-661) with a .291 on-base percentage and .298 slugging percentage. He has a 3.81 strikeout to walk ratio against lefties and has given up just eight homers in 738 plate appearances.
The Mariners lacked a left on left specialist last season. They’ve added youngsters Zac Curtis and James Pazos in trades, but Rzepczynski provides a solid veteran option. Seattle could add another experienced lefty reliever on a minor league contract as well.