The Seattle Mariners have made an addition to their major-league roster with the signing of right-handed pitcher Kendall Graveman, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It’s a one-year, $1.5 million deal for the Mississippi State product. The contract includes a boost in salary in 2021 in the form of a $3.5 million club option that can be bought out for $500,000.
Free-agent RHP Kendall Graveman has signed a one-year, $1.5M contract with the #Mariners, a source tells The Athletic. The deal includes a $3.5M club option or $500,000 buyout for 2021.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 26, 2019
Graveman, who will be 29 in December, spent most of 2019 recovering from Tommy John surgery. He underwent surgery in 2018 when he was with the Athletics and signed a major-league deal with the Cubs for 2019 with a primary focus on his 2020 return, but the Cubs declined his option for next season. Graveman made just two rehab appearances last season between Rookie ball and Triple-A, pitching six innings and allowing two runs on five hits while striking out eight.
Graveman didn't see a lot of action in the majors the year prior, either, due to the nagging injury that led to his surgery. He allowed 32 runs on 44 hits in 34.1 innings over seven starts, going 1-4 with a 7.60 ERA. Thus, to find his last non-injury-impacted big-league season, you must look to 2017, when he made 19 starts for the Athletics, going 6-4 with a 4.19 ERA while allowing 50 runs on 114 hits in 105.1 innings and striking out 70 batters while walking 32.
This seems like not only a good move but also the right move for the Mariners who are in the midst of a confusing rebuild with their sights set on their first World Series title in the future. This is being led by Jerry Dipoto, who stunned the baseball world with many trades last offseason before his team struggled. Ultimately, the Mariners need to field a baseball team next season with more than two dozen athletes at least somewhat worthy of being in the majors. Thus, it makes perfect sense for them to go out and put faith in Graveman, who needs to re-prove himself after his surgery.