You’ve probably heard by now, but the Mariners made another free agent signing, inking RHP Austin Voth to a one-year, $1.25M deal. We did a podcast after the signing, but here’s the written lowdown (along with some MiLB deals we haven’t caught up with yet). With the signing of Voth, the Mariners’ 40-man roster is now full.
Voth, a Kentwood High graduate who went on to play for UW, was drafted in the fifth round by the Nationals; he made his debut with the other Washington in 2018 before being DFA’d in 2022. The Orioles quickly claimed Voth off waivers, but he was again DFA’d in September of 2023 after missing significant time with elbow discomfort.
Despite middling numbers as a pro, the Mariners clearly see something they can maximize with Voth. Like Paul Sewald, Voth has a fastball that’s around average velocity that he throws towards the top of the zone which seems like a prime candidate to be elevated even more. Unlike Sewald, Voth’s main secondary pitch is a wicked curveball that has almost double the league average in horizontal movement (perhaps one could even call it a slurve).
The addition and refinement of a slurve (slider+curve) has done wonders for Austin Voth's revival with the Orioles. When it's on, it's certainly on: pic.twitter.com/QoH1If1YtM— Zach Silver (@zachsilver) August 24, 2022
However, Baltimore had him throwing his sweeper much more often, which might be a pitch that continues to develop with Seattle. Our sister site Camden Chat has a very good breakdown after Voth joined the Orioles on both that and some mechanical changes that it looks like the Orioles helped Voth work on to get him more direct to the plate.
Baltimore also used Voth as a swingman, and while the lanky-yet-durable righty has plenty of history in that role, he might be more valuable as a two-pitch reliever in the Sewald mold if the Mariners can help him maximize the ride on his fastball and focus in on perfecting the shape of one of his secondaries.
The Mariners also continued to add to what we affectionately call “the pile” with some more minor league signings. Fresh on the heels of adding my special favorite boy Cory Abbott as well as lefties Jhonathan Diaz and Kirby Snead on MiLB deals, the Mariners went back to the well of former AL Westies and signed RHP Ty Buttrey to an MiLB deal. I remember being absolutely terrified of Buttrey back in 2018-19 when it looked like the hard-throwing righty was going to be the bullpen representative of the Trout-Ohtani hydra, but even more than TINSTAAPP is TINSTAAAPP where the extra “A” stands for “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.” Buttrey stepped away from the game for a while for personal reasons, but he’s back now with the Mariners and we wish him all the best.
Ty Buttrey, 99mph Fastball perplexes Puig. pic.twitter.com/cObv60o1T8— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 27, 2019
The Mariners also signed RHP Joey Krehbiel to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training, another player who spent time with Baltimore in 2023—are we seeing a theme yet? The 31-year-old’s fastball has lost some punch over time, but he controls the zone well and doesn’t allow hitters to square him up often despite relying largely on a fastball-cutter mix. Since he’s seen only sporadic big-league action, he still retains an option year, so the Mariners have some flexibility in bringing him through their pitching program.