The Mariners have expressed some early interest in free agent lefty Brett Cecil tweets Jon Morosi of the MLB Network, and the M’s are also likely to take a look at southpaw Boone Logan in free agency, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times tweets. Morosi notes that the Mariners are “determined” to add a lefty reliever, although that much has been known for quite some time, as GM Jerry Dipoto has previously expressed his desire to add a left-handed reliever to the back of his bullpen.
Cecil, 30, registered an inflated 3.93 ERA in an injury-shortened season in 2016, but he was much better after returning from a strained left triceps than he was when pitching earlier in the year. And dating back to the 2013 campaign, Cecil has somewhat quietly been a stellar left-handed option for Toronto, pitching to a 2.90 ERA with 11.5 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 50.2 percent ground-ball rate. In that time, he’s held lefties to a feeble .215/.270/.310 slash but also suppressed opposing right-handers, who batted a mere .218/.306/.350 against Cecil in that four-year span. Cecil’s velocity was down a bit early in the season, but it bounced back as he further distanced himself from from the aforementioned DL stint. Overall, he averaged 92.2 mph on his heater this season.
Logan’s recent track record isn’t as strong as that of Cecil, but his 2016 campaign was arguably superior. The 32-year-old posted a 3.69 ERA with 11.1 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and a 49.2 percent ground-ball rate in 46 1/3 innings with the Rockies. However, Logan was limited to facing primarily lefties and used in more situational roles than was Cecil, as he faced 68 right-handers against 119 lefties. He’s probably best deployed as a specialist as opposed to a true setup option that would face both left- and right-handed hitters, although there’s no question that escaping a hitter-friendly park would be beneficial to him as well. Logan has spent all but one season of his career calling either U.S. Cellular Field, Yankee Stadium or Coors Field home (2009 with the Braves), so he could relish the chance to play in a more pitcher-friendly setting such as Seattle’s Safeco Field. He’s already been loosely connected to the Blue Jays and Giants this winter.
Other left-handed options available to the Mariners on the free agent market include the likes of Jerry Blevins and Mike Dunn, though it’s worth noting that a couple of the available names — Travis Wood and Clayton Richard — seem likely to market themselves as starting pitchers this winter. And, as Dipoto demonstrated in making 11 trades last offseason, he’s hardly shy about making deals with other clubs to augment his roster.