The Seattle Mariners added bullpen depth by signing right-handed pitcher Josh Judy to a minor league contract.
Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in less than a month. The Mariners, like many other teams, will have a checklist to properly prepare for their trip down to Arizona or Florida.
On this checklist, you might find gear and other assorted baseball items the players will be loading into their suitcases.
The assistant to the traveling secretary (not George Costanza) will have to arrange flights and lodging for the team and front office. And teams will have to extend offers to non-roster spring training invitees that you’ve probably never heard of.
That brings us to the Mariners minor league signing of Josh Judy with a probable invite to participate in their spring training camp.
Judy is a right-handed relief pitcher that was drafted in the 34th round of the 2007 MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians.
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He made his big league debut in 2011, pitching 14 innings with a 7.07 ERA. He hasn’t pitched in the majors since but has spent time in the minors for the Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles, and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Judy most recently pitched last year for the Quintana Roo Tigers of the Mexican Baseball League.
He performed well in this league, appearing in 50 games with an ERA of 1.20 and a FIP of 2.42. His ERA, with a qualifier with at least 50 innings pitched, was second in the league.
The Mariners signing of Judy likely doesn’t mean much for the big league team, however, there is a precedent for the Mariners adding non-roster invitees to the Opening Day roster.
Oliver Perez and Joe Beimel are both pitchers that were initially offered a minor league contract but made their way onto the team and had varying levels of success. However, both Perez and Beimel are left-handed and thus are more of a commodity.
Worst case scenario, the Mariners will get an extended look at Judy in spring training and assign him to the minors. If this is the case, Judy will be organizational depth in a role that is vital and combustible and you can never have enough bullpen arms.