The Mariners announced Monday that they’ve designated right-hander Matt Festa for assignment. His spot on the 40-man roster will go to outfielder Jose Siri, whose previously reported waiver claim out of the Reds organization has now been formally announced by Seattle.
Festa, 27 next month, has pitched 30 2/3 innings of relief with the Mariners over the past two seasons, logging a 4.70 ERA with a 25-to-14 K/BB ratio and a 36.5 percent ground-ball rate along the way. Seattle initially selected him in the seventh round of the 2016 draft.
Festa has enjoyed solid numbers in Double-A and Triple-A, albeit in limited samples of work. The East Stroudsberg University product pitched to a 2.76 ERA with 12.3 K/9 against 2.2 BB/9 in 49 innings in 2018 before logging a 2.64 ERA, 9.7 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 30 2/3 Triple-A frames in 2019. Festa doesn’t throw particularly hard (93 mph average four-seamer) and doesn’t have the type of gaudy spin rates that attract some clubs to pitchers who lack premium velocity. His success in the upper minors and the fact that he has a minor league option year remaining, however, could earn him a look with another club.
The Mariners will have a week to trade Festa, place him on outright waivers or release him.