The Mariners added some low-cost depth to their organization, including a familiar name to fans in three minor-league signings Thursday evening.
Left-hander Roenis Elias is back with the Mariners for the third time in his career that dates to his major-league debut with the organization April 3, 2013.
Elias did not pitch in a game last season. He went to spring training as a member of the Nationals and was part of their 60-player pool for summer camp. However, a positive test for COVID-19 delayed his return. And once he was finally cleared, he suffered a strained flexor in his elbow. The Nats put him on the 60-day injured list. He was outrighted to the minors after the season and elected for free agency.
He recently threw a bullpen session near his home in Texas to show scouts that his elbow was healthy, but was expected to not receive a guaranteed major-league contract.
His last successful stint in MLB came with the Mariners in 2019 when he was 4-2 with a 3.64 ERA and 14 saves in 28 relief appearances. In 47 innings, he struck out 45 and walked 17.
Seattle traded Elias along with right-hander Hunter Strickland to the Nationals at the 2019 trade deadline. Elias made just three appearances on the Nationals’ World Series run, injuring his hamstring while hitting.
When healthy and throwing with some command, he is a versatile multi-inning reliever the Mariners would like in their bullpen.
Seattle also signed right-handed pitcher Paul Sewald and infielder Jensen Witte, who will likely provide depth at Class AAA Tacoma.
Sewald, 30, made five relief appearance for the Mets last season with a 13.50 ERA in six innings.
Over parts of four MLB seasons, he has made 125 relief appearances, posting a 5.50 ERA in 147 1/3 innings, with 151 strikeouts and 51 walks.
Witte, 29, spent seven seasons in the minor leagues in the Red Sox organization. He is a career .273 hitter in 661 minor-league games