Mariners Sign Carl Edwards Jr. to 1-year, $950,000 contract with $500,000 in incentives.
The Mariners needed upside in their bullpen, along with some relative safety, and they found just that in Carl Edwards Jr. The former Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres’ set-up man was non-tendered after a disappointing 2019 season that saw him struggle heavily.
But in 2017 and 2018. Edwards Jr. was one of the best set-up men in the game. In 131 games over 2 years, Edwards Jr. posted a 2.81 ERA, a 3.19 FIP, a 153 ERA+, and 164 strikeouts in 118 innings.
He also posted a 1.14 WHIP and just 0.6 HR/9. Edwards was a borderline elite option entering 2019, but it all fell apart in 2019. But the 28-year-old still shows great stuff with a 94-97 MPH fastball with elite spin rates, as well as a curveball that is 65-grade at its best.
Edwards is a 2-pitch arm, but both of those offerings are plus. Once again, command is an issue for Edwards Jr., so Seattle is gambling they can help him fix that problem. As a bonus, Edwards Jr. is under club control through 2022, giving Seattle 3-years of potentially above-average or even plus late-inning option in their pen.
If Edwards Jr. turns things around, he could be one of the Mariners’ most tradable assets. Seattle is basically getting a free lottery ticket with a tremendous payout upside. There is quite literally no downside to this contract and there is a good chance Seattle found a good closer or relief ace for nothing.
This deal is the best of the off-season thus far. It earns high marks for process and execution. Hopefully, it pays off for Seattle.