Mariners reshape their bullpen
Addition of two relievers on eve of trade deadline might not be Seattle’s last moves, manager says
SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners worked on their bullpen again on Monday, acquiring left-hander Zach Duke from the Minnesota Twins and right-hander Adam Warren from the New York Yankees for a pair of minor leaguers.
The trades on the eve of the non-waiver deadline provided two more relief options for manager Scott Servais with Seattle in the playoff hunt in the AL West.
The Mariners sent pitcher Chase De Jong and infielder Ryan Costello to the Twins, and dealt international slot money to the Yankees for Warren.
“Obviously a lot of teams are looking to add to the bullpen this time of year with the trade deadline coming up. I’m not surprised,” Servais said. “It may not be the last thing we do.”
General manager Jerry Dipoto said recently he was hoping to add another righty to the bullpen and pick up a left-handed specialist as well to take some stress off James Pazos. He accomplished both by acquiring Sam Tuivailala from St. Louis late last week and then landing Duke and Warren.
“Zach adds both experience and left-handed depth to our bullpen,” Dipoto said. “We believe he can be an importance piece for us over the balance of the season.”
The 35-year-old Duke went 3-4 with a 3.62 ERA in 45 appearances for the Twins. He has limited left-handed batters to a .237 average this season.
Minnesota is sending $75,000 to Seattle as part of the deal. Duke is owed $716,667 of his $2.15 million salary.
He has earned a $200,000 bonus for making 40 pitching appearances and can earn up to $1.3 million more, getting the entire amount if he makes 65 pitching appearances.
“Duke’s got a pretty good track record of getting lefties out. The last couple of years he’s been pretty good against the righties, too,” Servais said. “He’s got different arm angles, a little bit different look, he’s got experience, so a welcome addition.”
Duke was playing catch on the field before Minnesota’s home game against Cleveland when he was summoned for a meeting with chief baseball officer Derek Falvey, general manager Thad Levine and manager Paul Molitor.
The Mariners will be Duke’s seventh team in the last six seasons. He signed with Minnesota in the off-season and has also played for Pittsburgh, Washington, Cincinnati, Mil- waukee, St. Louis and the Chicago White Sox.
Duke became primarily a reliever in 2012 after starting his career with the Pirates as a starter.
“I truly enjoyed my time here. Love the guys in this room, and I’m going to miss there,” Duke said. “But I’m looking very forward to being out there in a pennant race.”
The 30-year-old Warren, often used as a long reliever, was 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 24 appearances this season, interrupted by a stint on the disabled list from April 21 through June 3 caused by a strained back. He has a $3,315,000 salary and is eligible for free agency after the World Series.
The 24-year-old De Jong started 21 games for Double-A Arkansas, going 5-5 with a 3.80 ERA, but pitched in the majors last year for Seattle as it cycled through 16 different starting pitchers due to injuries. De Jong made four starts and appeared in seven games for the Mariners. The 22-year-old Costello hit .266 with 70 RBIs for Class A Clinton.
Seattle acquired a pair of relievers, including Adam Warren from the New York Yankees, in an attempt to bolster its bullpen.