On November 30th, the Seattle Mariners agreed to a 4-year, $7.5 million contract extension with flame-throwing reliever Andres Munoz, locking him down through at least 2025.
Munoz, 22, was acquired from the San Diego Padres in late 2020 as part of the infamous Austin Nola-Ty France trade, while recovering from Tommy John surgery. His recovery lasted well over a year, but he finally debuted with the Mariners on the final day of the 2021 season; he induced two outs in a brief relief appearance, and hit 102 mph on the radar gun.
I must include a personal anecdote about Munoz’s unbelievable fastball velocity: I was in attendance at T-Mobile Park during Munoz’s debut, and when he trotted onto the field in the 6th inning with the Mariners facing a considerable deficit against the Angels, casual fans behind me could be heard muttering: “Who the heck is this? Andrew Muniz? Looks like we’re just giving up.”
Mere seconds passed before Andres Munoz fired in three 100mph+ fastballs in a row, silencing the fans behind me, and inciting audible murmurs throughout the stadium. The next sentence I heard from the observers at my six o’clock was: “Dang. Andrew Muniz rocks.”
Mariners fans should get used to seeing Andres Munoz take the mound for Seattle in the late innings.
After signing an extremely team-friendly contract (thanks, Jerry Dipoto), which includes club options for 2026-2028, Munoz is on track to be a household name in Seattle if he can consistently execute the electric fastball/slider combination he’s displayed in the minor leagues.
The Mariners’ bullpen was one of the American League’s best in 2021, but there’s no guarantee that veterans Diego Castillo, Ken Giles, Casey Sadler, Paul Sewald, and Drew Steckenrider will be able to hold their spots as Seattle’s highest leverage relievers over the next several seasons.
Get ready, Mariners fans: Andres Munoz is about to ensure that nobody gets his name wrong ever again.