Mariners reel in A's reliever Scribner

Dipoto trades Minor Leaguer Cochran-Gill to Oakland

Mariners reel in A's reliever Scribner

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Evan Scribner, a 30-year-old right-hander who had a strong first half last season for Oakland before finishing the year on the disabled list with a torn lat muscle, was acquired by the Mariners on Tuesday for Minor League right-hander Trey Cochran-Gill as general manager Jerry Dipoto continued adding to his bullpen depth.

Scribner went 2-2 with a 4.35 ERA in 54 games, with 64 strikeouts and just four walks. But after a 2.01 ERA in his first 27 outings, he gave up 11 home runs in his final 27 games before going on the DL for the final month.

"Evan brings us another experienced Major League reliever who has exhibited strong control of the strike zone as well as the ability to miss bats," Dipoto said. "He'll compete for a spot in our Major League bullpen."

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Cochran-Gill, 22, pitched most of last season for Double-A Jackson, where he was 4-3 with a 5.43 ERA and four saves in 34 relief appearances. He pitched one game for Triple-A Tacoma and 10 for Class A Advanced Bakersfield.

Dipoto has traded Carson Smith, Tom Wilhelmsen and Danny Farquhar from last year's relief crew, but says much of the remaining offseason focus will be restocking that area.

It hasn't all been outgoing arms to date. Dipoto acquired right-hander Joaquin Benoit in a trade with the Padres, giving the Mariners a veteran closer candidate or outstanding setup man, while also acquiring right-handers Anthony Bass, Justin De Fratus and Jonathan Aro. And Scribner became the latest addition in a deal announced on the second night of the Winter Meetings at the Opryland Hotel.

Scribner is entering his first season of arbitration eligibility as a Super Two qualifier and is projected by to earn $700,000. He will then have three more years of team control before becoming a free agent in 2020.

The trade is the second of the Winter Meetings and eighth of the offseason for Dipoto as the first-year GM continues remaking the Mariners roster. 

Scribner seals the win

The Mariners also have talked to free-agent right-hander Shawn Kelley, but the former Mariner is believed close to a deal with the Nationals. There still is a pretty good group of available relievers, however, and Seattle will continue looking to add in that area.

"We've cast a pretty wide net," Dipoto said. "We're talking to free agents, we've talked to back-end bullpen guys, middle bullpen guys and situational bullpen guys. We've talked to players we'd see more as Minor League contracts to come in and compete, guys with good histories, and some combination of stabilization, upside potential and rebound candidates.

"With the bullpen, that's kind of where they come from. There are enough guys out on the market or readily available in trade that we feel we're going to build as much volume as we can and create an internal competition for some of the roles that will exist."

Dipoto feels Benoit gives the Mariners a good closing candidate with some experience in that situation, though the GM is not slamming the door on acquiring someone else who could fill the ninth-inning role and allow Benoit and lefty Charlie Furbush to be the setup men.

Bass, De Fratus and right-hander Tony Zych, who impressed as a September callup last season, currently line up as middle-inning contenders, with Scribner now joining that group.

"We do feel Benoit and Furbush give us two veteran guys on the back end that we feel we have something to build toward, and we intend to add to that duo," Dipoto said. "We feel with guys like Bass and Zych and De Fratus, we're starting to build a nice pocket of pitchers that can compete for the middle and early setup-type role, and we'll see where it goes."

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.