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Mariners reacquire Elias, target rotation role

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- Looking to add to their starting pitching depth, the Mariners reacquired left-hander Roenis Elias from the Red Sox on Monday in exchange for a player to be named or cash, and they assigned him to Triple-A Tacoma.

Elias has been pitching in relief for Boston's Triple-A Pawtucket affiliate, but the Mariners will build up his pitch count and transition him back to a starting role, general manager Jerry Dipoto said.

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SEATTLE -- Looking to add to their starting pitching depth, the Mariners reacquired left-hander Roenis Elias from the Red Sox on Monday in exchange for a player to be named or cash, and they assigned him to Triple-A Tacoma.

Elias has been pitching in relief for Boston's Triple-A Pawtucket affiliate, but the Mariners will build up his pitch count and transition him back to a starting role, general manager Jerry Dipoto said.

View Full Game Coverage

Elias started 49 games for the Mariners from 2014-15, but he never found a niche with the Red Sox and was moved to the bullpen this year after an injury-plagued 2017 season. The 29-year-old was 1-0 with one save and a 1.23 ERA in 7 1/3 innings through four games with Pawtucket this season.

"I know he's been here before -- it's a name that has come up in the past," manager Scott Servais said. "He might be able to help us out. I think they're talking about stretching him out and starting him at Tacoma, but we'll see what happens. I think it's a really good arm and a guy that creates some depth if we need it as we go along in the season."

Elias was sidelined much of last season with a strained oblique muscle, and he went 1-6 with a 6.96 ERA in 10 rehab starts over several Minor League levels. He made just one appearance for Boston last year, getting a strikeout and a walk in a 10-4 loss to Toronto on Sept. 4.

Elias pitched in three games for the Red Sox in 2016, making his lone start -- ironically against the Mariners -- on June 17 at Fenway Park and giving up seven hits and seven runs over four innings in an 8-4 loss. He spent most of that season with Pawtucket, going 10-5 with a 3.60 ERA in 21 games, including 19 starts.

The Mariners originally signed Elias as a free agent out of Cuba in 2011. He posted a 3.97 ERA with Seattle from 2014-15 in 51 games (49 starts) before he was dealt to the Red Sox with Carson Smith for Jonathan Aro and Wade Miley in December 2015.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Roenis Elias