Mariners agree to minor-league deal with lefty Joe Saunders

Feb 20, 2015, 1:03 PM | Updated: 5:21 pm
Joe Saunders, who started 32 games for Seattle in 2013, will vie for a bullpen role with the Marine...
Joe Saunders, who started 32 games for Seattle in 2013, will vie for a bullpen role with the Mariners. (AP)
(AP)

The man known as “Safeco Joe” is primed for a comeback with the Mariners.

Left-handed pitcher Joe Saunders agreed to a minor-league deal with the Mariners on Friday and will compete for a bullpen role during spring training.

Speculation about Saunders’ return ramped up when pitchers and catchers reported to spring training Friday morning after MLB.com’s Greg Johns Tweeted that the Mariners had a locker set up for Saunders at their complex in Peoria, Ariz.

Saunders, 33, made 32 starts for the Mariners in 2013, posting a 5.26 ERA. He is expected to vie for a role in the Mariners bullpen this season.

Though he was 5-7 with a 4.99 ERA at Safeco Field during his one season as a Mariner, he has a career 3.73 ERA over 26 games in the ballpark, many of which came during his years with the Los Angeles Angels. He split last year with the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles, pitching in 14 games (eight starts), going 0-5 with a 6.70 ERA.

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