The Mariners have announced an extension with southpaw Wade LeBlanc. It’ll include a guaranteed salary for the 2019 season and a trio of club/vesting options thereafter. LeBlanc is represented by Joe Rosen.
LeBlanc, 33, will be guaranteed $2.75MM in total, according to reports from ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter) and Jon Heyman of Fancred (Twitter links). That includes a $300K signing bonus and $2MM salary for 2019.
The club options are priced at $5MM apiece and come with $450K in total buyouts. They’ll vest if LeBlanc reaches 160 innings in the immediately preceding season or 310 innings in the two prior years. If all the options are exercised and all potential bonuses and escalators are achieved, the deal could reach a total of $32MM over its four possible seasons.
For the Mariners, the move adds three seasons of control without much in the way of risk. LeBlanc was actually slated to be eligible for arbitration in 2019, so the deal will technically buy out an arb year and give the Seattle organization control over three would-be free agent campaigns.
Needless to say, this is rather an unusual contractual arrangement. Then again, LeBlanc isn’t a typical extension target. He’ll soon turn 34 years of age and is earning just $650K this year after joining the M’s in the middle of camp when he was released from his minors deal with the Yankees.
Indeed, it wasn’t long ago that LeBlanc joined the MLBTR podcast to discuss his search for another MLB opportunity. He has thrown 202 frames in the majors since that time, but it wasn’t until recently that he showed enough to make an agreement of this kind seem possible.
Thus far in 2018, LeBlanc carries a 3.38 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 72 frames for the Mariners. In addition to five relief outings, he has now taken the ball for 11 starts. That level of success isn’t likely to continue. He doesn’t throw a pitch that averages even 87 mph and has below-average rates of swinging strikes (8.8%) and groundballs (35.6%).
That said, LeBlanc has looked like a solid MLB hurler this year. Despite the frequency of fly balls, he has not surrendered too many dingers (1.13 per nine but on a below-average 9.8% HR/FB rate). And though he has likely been fortunate on batted-ball results, his spread of Statcast numbers (.337 xwOBA vs. .309 wOBA) isn’t particularly extreme.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
There’s motivation for your start tonight Wade
He pitched well tonight. He’s one of those players I always root for, no matter where he goes.
I didn’t expect that with a screen name like yours, but yes I wholeheartedly agree. As a Mariners fan it’s tough not to be thrilled, but it’s cool seeing people supporting them who aren’t necessarily home grown with them or who are already bigger supporters of other teams. These Mariners seem likable and fun, though any narrative I provide would be just as good a guess as yours. Hope they keep it up. Onward to July!
It is such an easy team to root for. They’re definitely the team I want to win the AL. Haniger and Paxton are exciting studs
As a kid I was a fan of them purely because I saw ichiro steal a base or something in an all star game, that was actually my first TV baseball memory. Loved them ever since, even if I grew greater priorities. Definitely hope they win the pennant.
I’m an Indians fan, so they’re obviously at the top of my list. But I agree that the Mariners are easy to root for too; they’re young and energetic, no deficit is too big for them, and they have the longest postseason drought and I love parity so it’s fun to root for the teams that haven’t been there in a while. I hope they keep it up.
Rooting for the Mariners too. I’m from Boston but I’ve been following Seattle for the past ten years and I just feel bad for them. They’ve come so close at times. Would love to see them have a good run in the playoff at minimal. They deserve it.
I thought this was just more fake news when I saw the headline. I guess this is real?
MLBTR is notorious for it’s fake news
This guy went from fighting for his job, to extension. love it. This is what MLB is all about.
This seems more like an early arbitration agreement for 2019, with options for the team, than an “extension” in any but the most technical sense. What would be his over/under for next year’s arb, if you had to guess today? Other than apparently 2.5 million in guaranteed money, it seems like player does not get a whole lot. How much has he made in his career up to now?
About 2.5 million give or take
Royals just posted on instagram that they signed Singer!
I like this he will be a good piece in the BP in the playoffs. Will be a good 5th starter for us for a few years. He is a good innings eater which is what you need with the style of ball they are playing.
Mariners extend Wade LeBlanc; he was 6-3 and now is 6-5.
They took advantage of the opportunity to leverage those 2 L’s into a truck load of options and performance incentives instead of guaranteed years and money. Maybe we’re finally entering an era when you only get paid if you actually perform. Novel idea.
Hoping that’s he new era. I understand off years. It happens. But man, seeing players suck year after year on big guaranteed contracts kills me.
Way to go Wade!
Love the fact he’s 33 and still in his arb years, I really hope he can capitalize on this and give the M’s some great value. I’m a diehard sox fan yet there are a handful of AL teams I truly like and wish to succeed (beat my sox hell no but succeed 100%) I hope this works out for both parties I hate the angels and rangers and hou I don’t mind but there already so good so I’ll go with the M’s in the west.
surprised he still had a arb year left
A career AAAA pitcher who gets hot for 2 months and gets rich off it in his 30’s. GM’s and owners never learn.
it’s a commitment of 1yr/$2.75mm. it’s nothing to be worried about.
Mendoza Line 215
LeBlanc pitched fairly well for the Pirates last year except towards the middle when he eventually went on the disabled list.His success this year does not surprise me,but I would be surprised if he can keep it up as long as this contract could last.Good luck to him.