Seattle inks INF Beckham, RHP Gearrin

Former No. 1 Draft pick offers insurance at SS if Crawford starts year in Minors

January 10th, 2019

SEATTLE -- While Jerry Dipoto has made a multitude of moves this winter to bolster his club's long-term plans, the Mariners' general manager signed a pair of free agents -- infielder and right-handed reliever -- to fill holes for the upcoming season.
The Mariners announced the one-year deals for Beckham and Gearrin on Thursday, with outfielder designated for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster, which is now full.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports Beckham's contract is for $1.75 million, with another $250,000 in incentives. No terms are available yet on Gearrin's deal.
"Cory Gearrin brings much needed veteran experience and stability to the back of our bullpen. He has been a solid under the radar performer, particularly over the past two seasons." Dipoto said. "Tim Beckham is a very talented player who is one year removed from being one of the more productive shortstops in the American League. He is a real offensive threat with multi-position defensive versatility that fits our team very well."
Beckham, who'll turn 29 later this month, gives Seattle an experienced shortstop who can fill that position to start the season if Dipoto determines that newly acquired youngster would be better served opening the year in Triple-A Tacoma.

Crawford, who turns 24 on Friday, is expected to be the Mariners' shortstop of the future after being acquired from the Phillies in the trade last month. But Crawford hit just .214/.333/.358 in 72 games over his first two seasons in Philadelphia, and Dipoto says he wants to allow Crawford to "transition at the appropriate pace" when he comes to camp next month in Arizona.
"We're not going to put young players in a position to sink," Dipoto said. "We want them to swim."
Beckham posted a .230/.287/.374 line with 12 home runs and 35 RBIs in 96 games for the Orioles in 2018. The six-year veteran's best season came a year earlier, when he hit .278/.328/.454 with 22 home runs and 62 RBIs in 137 games for the Rays and Orioles.

Beckham was the first overall pick in the 2008 Draft by the Rays as a high school standout out of Georgia, and he played with Tampa Bay from 2015-17, after debuting in '13, before being dealt to Baltimore at the '17 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Of Beckham's 317 career MLB starts, 209 have come at shortstop, along with 58 at second base, 45 at third base and five at first base.
Beckham earned $3.3 million last season for the Orioles, who then non-tendered him in November rather than being locked into a raise of that figure in his second year of arbitration eligibility.
Gearrin, 32, adds a veteran presence to a bullpen that took severe hits in Dipoto's earlier trades this winter. The Tennessee native was 2-1 with a 3.77 ERA and one save in 62 appearances last season, when he split time between the Giants, Rangers and A's.
Gearrin is a seven-year MLB veteran with a 3.54 career ERA and a 1.285 WHIP in 270 outings, with 235 strikeouts and 104 walks in 246 2/3 innings. His best season came in 2017, when he posted a 1.99 ERA in 68 innings over 68 outings with the Giants.

Gearrin was non-tendered by the A's at the end of November after earning $1.675 million in 2018 as Oakland chose not to go to his third year of arbitration.
With Seattle, the veteran right-hander could fit into the late-inning relief mix after Dipoto dealt away , Alex Colome, and and released Nick Vincent and several other veterans.
Gearrin joins Seattle's other right-handed relief options in , , , , , Matt Festa, and Rule 5 Draft pick .