Jack Zduriencik can cross another need off his winter list as the bullpen would appear to be complete with the signing of Oliver Perez to a one-year contract Saturday night. According to Jon Heyman at CBSSports.com the deal is worth a base salary of $1.5 million with an additional $600,000 in performance bonuses.
Perez was a nice later-in-the-season surprise as he put up a 2.12 ERA, good for ninth in the American League by pitchers with a minimum of 30 appearances. He was used in multiple roles and perhaps most impressively had a streak of 20 consecutive appearances where he did not allow a run, which tied him at fourth in that department in club history.
In Perez, Zduriencik gets both a lefty with some flexibility in how he is used and the veteran presence he would like to have in the bullpen. The veteran role is one that Perez embraced as he fit in quickly with the younger pen. Zduriencik also can chose to be done constructing the pen or he could look to include one or more of his relievers in a trade package later this winter, opening a spot for a pitcher from the minor leagues.
We have seen two very reasonable signings in the last two days of two players that Zduriencik took low priced chances on last spring. He and his staff have had good success with that in the pitching department. Hitters have been an altogether different matter, but with the pitching question marks seemingly put to rest for now at least, the next move should be finding one or more established bats.
News and notes
I was away from the computer and phone for most of the day and only just saw an email that was sent earlier today about the good Edgar and Holli Martinez are up to in New York this weekend. Holli was to run the NYC Marathon, which was canceled late this week because of Superstorm Sandy. Rather than turn around and head home, the Martinezes have been organizing an informal marathon to raise funds for the relief efforts. Greg Johns of MLB.com caught up with Edgar and Holli and has all of the details in this article.
The Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game took place tonight in Scottsdale and three future Mariners saw action. Nick Franklin got the start at shortstop and went 1 for 3. James Paxton got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam by striking out Yankees prospect Austin Romaine and forcing Colorado outfielder Corey Dickerson into a groundout. Mike Zunino went 0 for 2.