The Mariners and right-hander Christian Bergman have agreed to a minor league pact, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (via Twitter). The All Bases Covered Sports Management client will be returning to the Seattle organization for a second season and will head to Major League Spring Training.
Bergman, 30 in May, appeared in 13 games for Seattle last season — eight starts and five relief appearances — working to a total of 54 innings. In that time, the former Rockies hurler posted an even 5.00 ERA with 5.5 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 2.0 HR/9 and a 37.7 percent ground-ball rate. Though he’s never experienced much in the way of prolonged success in the Majors (5.58 ERA in 201 2/3 frames between the Rockies and Mariners), Bergman has demonstrated solid K/BB numbers in the minors. In 235 innings at the Triple-A level, Bergman owns a 4.40 ERA with 6.2 K/9 against 1.9 BB/9.
[Related: Updated Seattle Mariners depth chart]
The Mariners have been tied to numerous rotation options this offseason and still have somewhat of an unsettled mix at present. James Paxton, Felix Hernandez and Mike Leake are locks to take the ball every fifth day, health permitting. Righty Erasmo Ramirez likely has an inside track on a rotation spot as well after pitching well in his second stint with Seattle following a trade from the Rays last summer.
The 40-man roster features numerous candidates for the fifth spot in the rotation, including lefties Marco Gonzales, Ariel Miranda and Sam Moll as well as right-handers Andrew Moore, Max Povse, Chase De Jong and Robert Whalen. Hisashi Iwakuma headlines Seattle’s collection of non-roster invitees, which also includes Bergman and fellow re-signed righty Casey Lawrence.