The Mariners have released right-hander Todd Coffey so that he can search for an opportunity with a contender that can use his services, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter).
Coffey, who turns 34 next week, signed a minor league deal with the Mariners earlier this summer after missing the 2013 campaign following his second Tommy John surgery. Somewhat curiously, he didn’t crack Seattle’s big league roster despite fairly dominant numbers in the minors; the veteran righty pitched to a 1.93 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 37 1/3 at Triple-A Tacoma.
Coffey has a lifetime 4.10 ERA as a big leaguer, and that mark is accompanied by 6.8 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a solid 51.9 percent ground-ball rate. Among contending clubs, the Tigers have had the most glaring bullpen issues this season, although the Pirates, Dodgers and Yankees have all hunted for relief help at times. The Brewers, too, were in the market for relief upgrades, although they may feel set in that department following their acquisition of Jonathan Broxton on Aug. 31.
Of course, the Mariners themselves are contenders, but the club apparently feels content with its bullpen depth. Fernando Rodney has been excellent as the team’s ninth-inning man after signing a two-year, $14MM deal this offseason. Meanwhile, Danny Farquhar, Dominic Leone, Tom Wilhelmsen, Joe Beimel and Yoervis Medina all have ERAs south of 2.50 in at least 40 innings of work.
Are the mariners not a contender?
Sure, but if they feel they don’t have a bullpen spot for him and don’t want to burn a 40-man roster spot in order to bring up what they consider a marginal upgrade, it makes sense to let him pursue another opportunity.
Todd Coffey being unable to crack the big league roster is not “somewhat curious” to me. The 6 relievers listed, along with Furbush as a lefty specialist and Maruer, who has been dominant since transitioning from the rotation to the pen, have been excellent. The September addition of Lucas Luetge fortifies the group. Not one of them is worth replacing or taking innings from.
Aw, he didn’t even get a cup of coffee with the Ms.