The Mariners have signed right-hander Brian Ellington to a minor league contract. The news was announced by the independent American Association (Twitter link), as Ellington had been pitching for the league’s Kansas City T-Bones since being released from a previous minor league deal with the Red Sox back in June.
Ellington tossed 102 2/3 innings out of the Marlins’ bullpen from 2015-17, though after posting some good numbers in the first two of those seasons, his ERA ballooned to 7.25 (thanks in large part to a 7.1 BB/9 and 1.4 HR/9) over 44 2/3 frames in 2017. The righty hasn’t been back in the majors since, after spending an injury-shortened season in the Diamondbacks’ farm system and then tossing 19 combined innings for Boston’s Double-A and Triple-A affiliates this year.
Originally a 16th-round pick for the Marlins in 2012, Ellington’s 2017 struggles were a magnified version of the control issues he has battled for much of his career, as he has a 5.6 BB/9 over 275 1/3 career minor league innings. Those free passes come with a lot of missed bats (10.4 K/9) and some decent run prevention (3.96 ERA), though the home run problem was a new one, as Ellington has only an 0.5 HR/9 over his minor league career. Ellington could still have some upside the Mariners could yet unlock, though at worst he’ll be a depth reliever at Triple-A.