Happy pitchers and catchers day. Today, pitchers, catchers, and coaches reported to camp for their annual physicals. All the pitchers invited to Arizona so far have gotten or will soon get naked and touched, but take special note of "so far". Because, who's to say they're done adding pitchers?
The Seattle Mariners, after signing right-hander Manny Delcarmen to a minor-league contract earlier this week, may not be done adding to their bullpen.
The M’s are interested in righty Chad Durbin, the best remaining free-agent reliever, major league sources say.
Now, Rosenthal's sources could be off base. It's possible the M's had interest in Durbin but wound up signing Delcarmen instead. But Rosenthal's usually pretty good about these things, so we have to take his report seriously. The M's may very well still be in the market for help in the bullpen.
Personally, I don't really get it, in that I think this team already has more than enough arms from which to select a group of relievers. But Chad Durbin isn't bad, and he certainly wouldn't hurt. He took a step forward last year and played an important role for the Phillies, and he's a veteran who's able to throw a couple innings at a time if he needs to. Those are the sorts of qualities that endear a guy to a manager.
Durbin isn't a shutdown reliever. He doesn't miss a ton of bats, he doesn't throw enough strikes, and he doesn't generate the groundballs that I could've sworn he did. Additionally, at 33, one can't expect him to take a leap forward. But, who knows. If he's cheap, he's probably worth a flier. Veteran bullpen arms become attractive assets come trade deadline time, and all things considered I wouldn't be opposed to playing the service time game with Dan Cortes and Josh Lueke.
Obligatory Chad Durbin fun fact: Durbin made his debut with the Royals in September 1999, and made 16 starts with the team the next season, posting an 8.21 ERA. He lost his rotation spot twice: once to Jay Witasick, and once to Brian Meadows.* That pitching staff also featured a 29-year-old Miguel Batista, a 29-year-old Paul Spoljaric, and a 25-year-old Mac Suzuki.
* Interestingly, Jay Witasick's given first name is Gerald, and Brian Meadows' given first name is Matthew.