The Indians announced that they’ve signed left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski to a minor league contract. The southpaw, who’d recently been released by the Mariners, has been assigned to Triple-A Columbus.
This’ll mark the second stint with the Indians for Rzepczynski, who pitched for Cleveland from 2013-14 before being traded to the Padres in exchange for outfielder Abraham Almonte at the 2014 non-waiver trade deadline. Since that time, the well-traveled lefty has bounced from San Diego to Oakland to D.C. to Seattle.
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Rzepczynski, 32, parlayed a solid 2016 season between the A’s and Nationals into a two-year, $11MM contract with the Mariners. And while he performed reasonably well in the first season of that deal, Rzepczynski struggled enormously in 2018 before being cut loose earlier this month. Nicknamed “Scrabble” due to his spellcheck-busting last name, Rzepczynski posted a 4.02 ERA in 37 1/3 innings for Seattle in 2017, though his 25-to-20 K/BB ratio lefty plenty to be desired. This year, he allowed 11 runs (eight earned) on 13 hits and nine walks with 10 strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings.
Rzepczynski has long been tough on opposing lefties, though, limiting same-handed opponents to a paltry .225/.295/.303 slash through 852 career plate appearances. For a Cleveland club whose bullpen has been among the worst in the Majors this season, he’ll add a veteran depth option that can at least be utilized in situational matchups. That could be all the more important for the Tribe in the near future, as Cleveland currently has both Andrew Miller and Tyler Olson on the disabled list.
The Mariners remain on the hook for the bulk of the $5.5MM salary that Rzepczynski is earning this year. Cleveland will only owe him the pro-rated league minimum for any time he spends at the big league level. That sum, subsequently, would be subtracted from what the Mariners owe him through season’s end.