Mariners sign RHP Kendall Graveman to 1-year, $1.5 million deal with a $3.5 million team option for 2021 ($500,000 buyout)
We knew the Mariners were going to sign pitchers that Dipoto referred to as “opportunity buys” and Kendall Graveman certainly fits that mold. Graveman’s injury history is quite well known, as he hasn’t even cracked more than 100 innings since 2017 and threw just 6 innings total in 2019.
And even when healthy, Graveman was nothing more than a Mike Leake type of arm. He throws strikes, generates plenty of groundballs, is a good athlete, and understands how to work through a lineup multiple times.
But the Mariners need innings from their rotation in 2020 and Graveman isn’t exactly a prime candidate to give them to you. However, there may be a glimmer of hope. Graveman is reportedly up to 94 MPH this winter, right where he was pre-injury.
If he can give Seattle 120+ innings of 4.50 FIP level pitching, he will easily be worth the $1.5 million investment. And even if he can’t, that isn’t a salary Seattle can’t and won’t simply absorb. There is quite literally no risk in the contract given to Graveman and a decent chance Seattle recoups the cost and then some.
But as the only starting pitcher signed by Seattle thus far, it is tough to know what the process is and to grade it in context. Graveman doesn’t miss bats and with his injury history, he doesn’t really fall into the “flippable” category this summer.
In a perfect world, Graveman is one of several arms fighting to win the 5th spot with a role in the middle innings of your bullpen as the floor. Unfortunately, as it stands today, Seattle has handed him the #4 spot in the rotation and that isn’t a great place to be.