Analyzing the free agent market to try and pinpoint the Mariners’ ‘mystery pitcher.’
After news broke of the Mariners’ agreement with free agent starting pitcher Kendall Graveman, The Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish added that Seattle had also inked a deal with another starting pitcher. The announcement of this signing is expected Wednesday morning, but for now, we’re all left questioning who it may be.
The starting pitching market of free agency hasn’t been tapped into much here in the early going, so condensing things down to a list of five names won’t be a walk in the park. Odds are that the five names listed in this article won’t be our mystery man, but hey, we’re going to give this thing the old college try.
LHP DREW SMYLY (2019: 114 IP, 6.24 ERA, 9.47 K/9, -0.3 fWAR)
Ah yes, the man with the soggiest of arms. It’s been a rough road back from Tommy John surgery for Drew Smyly. Seeing MLB action for the first time since 2016, Smyly struggled to the tune of a 6.24 ERA in 114 innings pitched between Texas and Philadelphia.
As ironic as it may be, Seattle is possibly the best landing spot for Smyly at this point in his career. The Mariners have been able to identify potential in pitchers seemingly at the end of their rope, getting legitimate production out of guys like Wade LeBlanc and Tommy Milone.
Smyly is still fairly young in the grand scheme of things, getting set to pitch the first half of the 2020 season at the age of 30. It typically takes three years for pitchers to fully recover from Tommy John, and Smyly is now entering his third remove from the surgery. There’s still time for him to turn things around in his career and Seattle offers him an opportunity to do so at the back-end of their rotation, paired with a strong supporting cast of trainers and open-minded thinkers.
We really like the idea of bringing Smyly back. In FanSided’s MLB offseason simulation, Colby and I signed Smyly to a minor league deal, which would more than likely be the case if Smyly turns out to be the Mariners’ ‘mystery pitcher.’ I just can’t see many times having interest in him on a Major League contract.