SEATTLE -- The Mariners moved to beef up their thin bullpen on Monday by acquiring right-hander Connor Sadzeck from the Rangers for Minor League pitcher Grant Anderson.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Mariners moved closer Hunter Strickland from the 10-day injury list to the the 60-day IL. He’s expected to miss several months after straining his right lat muscle on Friday.
The Mariners won’t need to make a move to open a spot on their 25-man roster for Sadzeck until he reports to the team, which might not happen until the club travels to Chicago on Wednesday to open a road trip that starts Thursday against the White Sox.
Sadzeck is a hard-throwing 27-year-old who posted a 0.96 ERA in in 9 1/3 innings over 13 appearances last season as a September callup for Texas in his first Major League action. He features a 95-99 mph fastball, but has struggled with command. Sadzeck allowed just six hits and two runs (one earned), but issued 11 walks to go with seven strikeouts in his brief time in the Majors last year.
Since Sadzeck is out of Minor League options, the 6-foot-7, 240-pounder was designated for assignment on Thursday after failing to make the Rangers’ 25-man Opening Day roster. When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers. Thus, Sadzeck will need to either be kept on Seattle’s 25-man roster or be DFA’d again, but the Mariners do have a need in the bullpen while they deal with injury issues.
Shawn Armstrong (left oblique strain), Gerson Bautista (right pectoral strain) and Anthony Swarzak (right shoulder impingement) are currently on the 10-day IL, though Swarzak will likely be activated on Tuesday, and Armstrong is close to returning as well.
Sadzeck was converted from a starting pitcher to a reliever midway through the 2017 season and since then has averaged nearly 11 strikeouts per nine innings at the Minor League level. He was sidelined for all of the '14 campaign as well as part of '15, after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Sadzeck went 5-3 with a 4.03 ERA in 38 innings over 32 outings at Triple-A Round Rock last year. He was expected to make the Rangers’ bullpen this year, but had a rough spring during which he continued to deal with command issues and walked eight batters to go with 11 strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings, along with four hits and seven earned runs.
Anderson was the Mariners’ 21st round Draft pick out of McNeese State in 2018, and the 21-year-old went 1-1 with a 2.00 ERA in nine innings over 10 relief outings for the Mariners’ Rookie League club last year.