The Mariners have signed right-handed reliever Hunter Strickland to a one-year deal that will keep him under their control through the 2021 season if they so choose, according to a Thursday report from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal:
Strickland, 30, was the victim of a trio of factors as the Giants non-tendered him this offseason: His future was left in the hands of a new front office led by former Dodgers exec Farhan Zaidi, his reputation was marred by a series of high-profile incidents with Salvador Perez, Bryce Harper, and Lewis Brinson (the latter of which left him on the DL for six weeks after he punched a door out of frustration and broke his hand), and he simply didn’t pitch that well in 2018. Over 45.1 innings, he posted a 3.97 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP, striking out just 37 and walking 21.
Strickland, best known for his high-90s fastball velocity, does have a rather strong track record over five big-league seasons, having posted a 2.91 ERA and 1.20 WHIP with 211 strikeouts and 79 walks in 226 innings. He’s begun to give up contact much more frequently and has seen his command worsen as his career has gone on. He also has some experience as a closer; he began last season in the role and recorded 14 saves in 18 opportunities before being removed from ninth-inning duties following the Brinson incident.
Strickland is the latest addition to a Mariners club that has been more active than usual in free agency this offseason (which is basically to say they’ve been active; GM Jerry Dipoto usually alters his club via a never-ending stream of trades). He’s actually the second member of the Giants’ 2018 bullpen to join the club this offseason, following Cory Gearrin, who signed a one-year contract with Seattle earlier this month.