Mariners Rumors: M’s “Close” to Acquiring RHP Evan Scribner


Evan Scribner could be a very intriguing addition to the Seattle Mariners bullpen

The Seattle Mariners have been the busiest team in baseball this offseason, and Jerry Dipoto appears to be close to making another deal. Bob Dutton of The News Tribune is reporting that the Mariners are on the verge of acquiring Evan Scribner from the Oakland Athletics.

Originally selected in the 26th round of the 2007 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, Scribner made his big league debut with the San Diego Padres in April of 2011. Scribner failed to impress during his lone season in San Diego, posting a 7.07 ERA across 10 appearances. He struck out 10 and walked 4 through 14.1 innings.

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The Padres placed the Central Connecticut State alum on waivers following his rookie season, and the A’s claimed him. Scribner immediately established himself as a reliable arm in the A’s bullpen, going 2-0 and registering a 2.55 ERA through 30 appearances in 2012. He held the opposition to just 1.189 walks/hits per inning and tallied 30 strikeouts in 35.1 innings pitched.

Scribner spent the majority of the next two seasons in AAA, but he was reasonably effective in limited opportunities with Oakland. He went 1-0 with a 4.46 ERA in 31 appearances with the A’s. Scribner does a great job keeping the ball in the zone, as demonstrated by his 30:7 strikeout to walk ratio in 2013 and 2014.

The 30-year-old right-hander had a breakthrough season in 2015 for the Athletics. Scribner appeared in 54 games, going 2-2 and posting a 4.35 ERA. Remarkably, he issued just 4 free passes in 60 innings. Scribner’s 16.00 strikeout to walk ratio was amongst the best in the league. He limited the opposition to 1.033 walks/hits per inning.

2015 was the best season of Scribner’s career, but his inability to keep the ball in the yard is cause for concern. He allowed a whopping 14 home runs this past season. Scribner has allowed 2.3 home runs per 9 innings over his last 67 appearances. This is not an ideal stat for a pitcher who would likely be trusted with late inning work in Seattle.

Baseball Reference is projecting another strong campaign for Scribner in 2016. They predict he will go 3-2 with a 4.18 ERA and 1 save across 56 innings. FanGraphs is slightly less optimistic about Scribner’s workload, but they also believe he will be a very useful reliever. They expect he will go 2-2 with a 3.20 ERA through 40 innings pitched.

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle is echoing Dutton’s report, suggesting Scribner will be dealt to the Mariners. There has been no indications who the M’s will send to Oakland in return. The A’s are in rebuild mode, and a package built around a mid-level prospect or two appears likely.

The Mariners’ bullpen is a mess right now. They made the questionable decision to ship Carson Smith to Boston on Monday. Seattle has also traded Danny Farquhar and Tom Wilhelmsen this offseason. Those three hurlers combined to pitch 183 innings for the M’s in 2015.

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Evan Scribner would be a great addition to the Mariners’ bullpen. He is unlikely to challenge for the closer job, but Scribner could excel working in the 7th inning role. One would assume the Safeco Field effect will help mitigate his problems with the long ball. Scribner is eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter, and is under team control through the 2020 season.