Mariners trade Anthony Swarzak to Braves for relievers Jesse Biddle, Arodys Vizcaíno
The Mariners have traded struggling veteran reliever Anthony Swarzak to the Braves for lefty relief pitcher Jesse Biddle and former Atlanta closer Arodys Vizcaíno.
Seattle is also sending cash considerations to Atlanta, conceivably to help cover what is left of the $8 million due to Swarzak this season.
Biddle, 27, had a 3.11 ERA in 60 appearances last season as a rookie, but he has a 5.40 ERA and 10 walks (to 11 strikeouts) over 11 2/3 innings this year. He can slot into the left-handed specialist role previously held by Zac Rosscup, who was designated for assignment over the weekend.
The second-year southpaw began 2019 with a 2.38 ERA over his first 12 games (11 1/3 innings) but was designated for assignment after allowing seven runs (four earned) and recording just one out over his last three appearances.
Biddle, who has a salary of $575,000 this season, has three years of arbitration left on his contract. He was a first-round MLB Draft pick of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010 but didn’t make his MLB debut until April 2018.
The 33-year-old Swarzak is 2-2 with three saves (in six save opportunities) and a 5.27 ERA this year. Though he did not allow a run through his first six appearances of the season following a stint on the injured list, Swarzak has an 8.64 ERA with six home runs given up over his last nine games (8 1/3 innings). The Mariners acquired Swarzak from the Mets prior to the season in the trade that sent Robinson Canó and Edwin Díaz to New York.
Vizcaíno, 28, has 41 saves over the past three seasons, but he won’t appear for the Mariners – at least not under his current contract. He underwent season-ending shoulder surgery after appearing in just four games this season, and his contract is up at the end of 2019. He went 1-0 with one save and a 2.25 ERA in 2019 before suffering his injury.
Vizcaino is a FA at the end of the year, Biddle is under club control through '23. According to Rosenthal the salaries and cash exchanged balance out. Deal would appear to be a flyer on an arm they believe they can improve. Biddle does not have any minor league options remaining.
— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) May 20, 2019