The Mariners Thursday signed RHP Ryan Cook to a one-year contract and added him to their 40-man roster, replacing RHP Anthony Bass, who was released so he can pursue a contract in Japan.
The 28-year-old Cook, a 2012 American League All-Star, was a solid reliever from 2011-14 before experiencing an off-year last season while pitching for Oakland and Boston.
“He is one season removed from being one of the more effective setup relievers in the American League,” said general manager Jerry Dipoto in a statement. “His presence enhances both our bullpen depth and overall upside.”
After a decent start to his career, Cook had an 18.69 ERA in nine relief appearances for Oakland and Boston last season. In Triple-A with Nashville and Pawtucket, he combined to go 4-1 with a 3.16 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 37 relief appearances.
Cook’s 2.60 ERA with 197 strikeouts in 196 appearances from 2011-14 was the eighth-best by an American League reliever (min. 190 G). During that three-year stretch, he limited opponents to a .198 batting average, fifth-best among AL relievers.
Cook in 2012 went 6-2 with a 2.09 ERA in 71 relief appearances. He was drafted by Arizona in the 27th round of the 2008 draft out of the University of Southern California.
The Mariners requested unconditional release waivers on Bass, acquired Nov. 16 along with OF Leonys Martin from the Texas Rangers in exchange for RHP pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen, OF James Jones and a player to be named later (INF Patrick Kivlehan).
18.69 era ? Boy oh boy is he going to bolster the bullpen. Hopefully, this number represents an anomaly, rather than a pattern.
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