Mariners Sign Hong-Chih Kuo

TUESDAY: Kuo's $500K guarantee increases to $1MM on the active roster, and he can earn another $2.25MM in incentives, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

MONDAY: The Mariners signed lefty reliever Hong-Chih Kuo to a one-year, Major League contract, tweets Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times.  Kuo has passed his physical, notes ESPN's Jayson Stark.  The Mariners will have to create a spot on the 40-man roster for Kuo, who is represented by Octagon.

Kuo, 30, allowed an earned run per inning in a difficult 2011 season with the Dodgers.  With a 1.96 ERA, 10.6 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 0.37 HR/9, and 5.8 H/9 in 170 innings, Kuo had been one of the game's most dominant relievers over the three prior seasons when healthy.  He had a DL stint for an anxiety disorder last season, and in October endured his fifth career elbow surgery.  

Kuo, a native of Taiwan, will again team up with Mariners offseason acquisition George Sherrill.  They'll presumably be setting up closer Brandon League.

After Kuo was non-tendered by the Dodgers in December, they continued to show interest, as did a few other unknown West Coast teams.  As our free agent tracker shows, Mike Gonzalez and Arthur Rhodes are now the top available lefty relievers.

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