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Mariners announce signing of RHP Juan Nicasio to 2-year deal

Juan Nicasio maintained a 2.61 ERA over 76 games with three teams in 2017. (AP)

The Mariners officially have a new set-up man in their bullpen.

The team announced Wednesday morning the signing of veteran right-handed reliever Juan Nicasio to a two-year deal. The terms of the agreement were not released, as per team policy, though it was reported last week by Bob Nightengale of USA Today that the deal would be worth $17 million.

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Nicasio, 31, is coming off the best of his seven seasons in the majors. Pitching for Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and St. Louis in 2017, he had a 2.61 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 72 strikeouts in 72 1/3 innings. He racked up 22 holds and six saves over 76 appearances, which tied him for the National League lead and fifth most in the MLB.

“Juan adds a versatile late-game presence to our bullpen,” Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a press release. “His ability to work multiple innings in high-leverage situations gives our staff tremendous flexibility. Juan fits us really well and we’re excited that he is a Seattle Mariner.”

Of particular importance, Nicasio pitched on consecutive days 19 times last season and recorded four outs or more in 10 appearances. He also ranked fourth-lowest in the MLB in eighth inning ERA (minimum 30 innings) at 1.69.

The addition of Nicasio helps fill out a pitching staff that lost Andrew Albers on Tuesday. Albers asked for and was granted his release to pursue an opportunity pitching in Japan.