Mariners sign LHP Wade LeBlanc to extension through 2019
Wade LeBlanc picked up the Mariners rotation when they needed to fill a spot. Now the Mariners have picked him up for at least an additional year.
The Mariners have agreed to a contract extension with the veteran left-hander through 2019, with club options for 2020, 2021 and 2022. They announced the move shortly before LeBlanc’s scheduled start Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Angels.
LeBlanc, 33, entered Tuesday 3-0 with a 3.38 ERA in 16 games (11 starts). He is in his second stint with Seattle, previously appearing in 11 games for the Mariners in 2016.
“We’re all very happy for Wade, who has earned everything that’s come his way,” Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a press release. “His contributions on the mound have been integral to our success this season. In addition, his character, versatility and dependability make him a solid fit for our team moving forward.”
LeBlanc has played for six teams since making his MLB debut in 2008 as a member of the San Diego Padres. The crafty southpaw has filled roles both as a starter and reliever, but is currently enjoying his longest run of sustained success in a major league rotation.
LeBlanc re-joined the Mariners near the end of spring training on a major league deal after being cut by the Yankees, and coming off a season in Pittsburgh’s bullpen the Mariners opted to initially use LeBlanc as a reliever this year. A spot opened up in the rotation in May, however, and LeBlanc ran with the opportunity, going six starts without allowing more than two runs. He also garnered some national attention by allowing just two hits over 7 2/3 shutout innings in a 1-0 win over the Boston Red Sox on June 16.
As a late-blooming, soft-tossing lefty, LeBlanc has drawn plenty of comparisons to Mariners legend Jamie Moyer. Considering Tuesday’s contract extension, the Mariners just may think there is something to that notion.