SHANNON DRAYER

Mariners make first move of offseason with claim of RHP Phillips Valdéz

Nov 1, 2019, 12:47 PM
Mariners RHP Phillips Valdéz...
New Mariners pitcher Phillips Valdéz made his MLB debut in 2019 with Texas. (Getty)
(Getty)

Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto’s first acquisition of the not-so-offseason is…

Phillips Valdéz.

Mariners decline LHP Wade LeBlanc’s 2020 option

The Mariners have claimed the right-handed reliever off waivers from the Texas Rangers. Valdéz, who will turn 28 in two weeks, debuted in the MLB this year and posted a 3.94 ERA in 16 innings pitched, striking out 18 while walking nine.

Originally signed by the Cleveland Indians, Valdéz spent the majority of his 10-year minor league career in the Nationals organization both as a starter and a reliever. In 2018 he posted a 2.73 ERA in 135 innings pitched combined between Double-A and Triple-A.

With Triple-A Nashville in 2019, Valdéz posted a 4.92 ERA with 36 walks and 65 strikeouts over 78 2/3 innings. While those numbers were hardly stellar, it should be noted that offensive statistics were up across the board in Triple-A after the introduction of the same baseball used in the MLB.

Valdéz features a 92-94 mph fastball, a changeup and a still-developing breaking pitch. Of his 16 career innings in the majors, two have come against the Mariners. In a pair of late July outings, Valdéz gave up three hits, struck out five and allowed one earned run – a Kyle Seager solo shot at T-Mobile Park.

It should be no surprise that Dipoto’s first pickup would be a “let’s-see-what-we-got-and-if-we-can-do-something-more-with-it” type arm, similar to many we saw throughout the season in 2019. Unlike most of those acquisitions, however, Valdéz has two minor league options remaining, so if there is further development needed it can be done in the minors.

With the move, the Mariners’ 40-man roster is now at 35.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Shannon Drayer on Twitter.

More from Shannon

Those who encountered Ron Fairly hit the baseball sweepstakes
Mariners free agents and non-tender possibilities

Date Starting Pitcher
Tuesday, September 27 @ 6:40 pm

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
Sunny
High 78° | Low 56°
Roof is open
Rangers at Mariners today at 6:40pm

Shannon Drayer

Mariners Dylan Moore...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: What happened on Mariners’ rough road trip, what’s next and injury updates

Mariners insider Shannon Drayer looks at the team's struggles on their recent road trip, looks ahead to their 10-game homestand, and provides injury updates.
1 day ago
Mariners...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: Mariners again overcome adversity, must continue due to more challenges

The Mariners again overcame adversity on Thursday, winning as losses and injuries piled up. Shannon Drayer details the team going forward.
4 days ago
Mariners Eugenio Suárez...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: ‘Unreal’ Mariners comeback makes it clear they’re ready for big stage

The Mariners showed what they're made of Sunday, coming back after giving up five runs and the lead in the ninth inning to upset the defending champs.
15 days ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger...
Brent Stecker

Mitch Haniger ‘remarkable’ in Mariners return — will it lead to a deal?

"I think we might be seeing just absolute peak Mitch Haniger right now," Mariners insider Shannon Drayer said Monday on Seattle Sports.
29 days ago
Mariners Julio Rodriguez...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer: Rodríguez’s deal with Mariners will help both sides for long time

The Mariners' deal with Julio Rodríguez does a lot for both sides, keeping Julio a Seattle ambassador and sending a message about the team.
1 month ago
Mariners George Kirby...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer’s Mariners Notebook: Latest on Kirby and Gilbert, farm system’s standing

Mariners insider Shannon Drayer clears her notebook with how the M's are handling the workloads of their youngest starting pitchers and much more.
1 month ago
Mariners make first move of offseason with claim of RHP Phillips Valdéz