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Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto
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Mariners add RHP Yohan Ramirez from Astros in MLB Rule 5 Draft

Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto had his eye on pitching in the MLB Rule 5 Draft. (AP)

As stated often by Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto this fall, part of Seattle’s offseason plan was to add a player via the Rule 5 draft.

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On Wednesday night, the eve of the draft, Dipoto threw a twist into that plan, telling reporters at the Winter Meetings in San Diego that they had targeted two pitchers, and that if those pitchers were not available when they made their pick at No. 6 they would most likely pass.

Right-hander Yohan Ramirez was apparently on of those pitchers, as he was selected by the Mariners in the MLB phase of the draft on Thursday morning.

Ramirez, 24, split time between High-A Fayetteville and Double-A Corpus Christi in the Astros organization in 2019, pitching in 27 games – all starts. He finished the season with a combined 3.99 ERA with 74 walks and 158 strikeouts.

In Ramirez, the Mariners pick up a power arm, “big stuff” guy whose fastball sits at 93-96 mph and can touch upper 90s. He also throws two hard breaking pitches. Ramirez posted 12.89 strikeouts per nine innings at Corpus Christi but comes to the Mariners with command issues (7.89 walks per nine innings) that Seattle believes it can help improve. Along with the upside, Ramirez’s ability to throw multiple innings made him attractive to the Mariners.

Per Rule 5 rules, Ramirez must stay on the 26-man roster for the entire season or be offered back to his original team for $50,000. For more details on what Rule 5 is and how it works, click here.

The Mariners also selected three players in the minor league portion of the draft, adding catcher Brian O’Keefe and first baseman Dariel Gomez from the Cardinals organization and outfielder Jhonny Santos from the Marlins minor league system. Seattle did not lose any players in the Rule 5 draft.

With the addition of Ramirez, the Mariners’ 40-man roster is at 39.

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