LHP ROENIS ELÍAS
Roenis Elías first arrived on the scene as a starting pitcher in 2014 thanks to Jerry Dipoto’s predecessor Jack Zduriencik, who signed the Cuban import to a minor league contract three years prior. In Dipoto’s first offseason as the Mariners’ general manager, he shipped Elías and reliever Carson Smith to Boston for pitchers Wade Miley and Jonathan Aro.
Elías stumbled in his time with the Red Sox, ultimately only throwing eight total innings for their Major League team over the course of the two years he spent in their organizaiton. Eventually, things came full circle and Elías was reacquired by Dipoto in April 2018 and the now 31-year-old lefty quickly turned his career around as a full-time reliever in Seattle.
In the 67 appearances he made for the Mariners up until his trade to the eventual World Series winning Washington Nationals this past July, Elías threw for more than an inning 18 times, accumulating a 2.58 ERA in those instances. Overall, Elías posted a 3.12 ERA and 3.84 FIP with 14 saves, 7.26 K/9, and 3.03 BB/9 while working pretty much every role a pitcher can possibly fill within a bullpen during his second stint with the Mariners.
RHP JUSTIN DUNN
Colby and I decided to have a little fun with this decision, as it was our last to make in order to complete the roster. Yes, we could have chosen a more proven MLB talent like Sam Tuivailala or Matt Magill for the final bullpen spot, but Justin Dunn was a massive part of what may wind up being Dipoto’s best trade thus far in Seattle and his floor may very well be a high-leverage reliever when it’s all said and done.
Currently slated to be a starter, however, Dunn has a mid 90s fastball with a pair of breaking balls that continue to improve as time goes on. The fastball could push upper 90s if his workload is decreased in a relief role and the slider would serve as a nasty complementary piece to keep hitters off balance in the late going.
With the way our roster is constructed, Dunn would be the ideal candidate to open for one of our starters like Wade LeBlanc or vice-versa. Dunn would come out firing right out of the gate before LeBlanc steps in to casually pick away at opposing hitters for a few frames before the big guns step in.