The Mariners have signed veteran left-hander Wade LeBlanc to a major-league deal, as ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick first reported Saturday morning. LeBlanc was released from his minor-league deal with the Yankees on Friday after posting a 5.27 ERA and 1.24 WHIP over seven Grapefruit League outings, but that obviously turned out to be a good thing, as he’ll now have a spot on Seattle’s Opening Day roster.
The 33-year-old LeBlanc, who has posted a 4.40 ERA and 1.36 WHIP over 176 career outings (79 starts), has made major-league appearances for seven teams over nine seasons while also pitching in minor-league games as a member of the Blue Jays organization. This tour of duty won’t help his cause if he’s trying to challenge Octavio Dotel’s record for the most MLB teams played for, though; LeBlanc previously pitched for the Mariners for part of the 2016 season, posting a 4.50 ERA over 11 appearances, including eight starts.
The Mariners will use LeBlanc as a long reliever and are open to using him as a spot starter if necessary, per Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times. As Crasnick mentioned Saturday, LeBlanc’s splits are crooked enough (.305/.352/.520 against lefties, .255/.319/.424 against righties) that he could help replace right-hander David Phelps after the highly-regarded reliever suffered a season-ending UCL tear last weekend.