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Seattle Mariners relief pitchers Paul Sewald (elbow, heel) and Andres Munoz (foot), who both had surgeries this offseason, might not see much action early in spring training. However, relievers don't usually need much work in the spring to get ready, and they should both be fine for Opening Day. Both pitchers are a big part of the back end of Seattle's bullpen heading into 2023, with Sewald currently slated to enter the year as the primary closer. Sewald was great in his second year with the M's, posting a career-best 2.67 ERA (3.88 FIP), career-high 20 saves, 0.77 WHIP and 72 strikeouts in 64 relief innings. Munoz was just as good with a 2.49 ERA (2.04 FIP), four saves, 0.89 WHIP and 96 K's in 65 innings out of the bullpen.
The Seattle Mariners signed free-agent infielder Tommy La Stella to an undisclosed one-year deal on Thursday. La Stella was released by the San Francisco Giants this offseason after slashing .245/.297/.380 with a .677 OPS, nine home runs, 41 RBI and 43 runs scored in 136 games over the last two seasons. The 33-year-old left-handed slugger had a tough time staying healthy as well, and that's probably going to continue to be an issue moving forward. He was able to play in only 60 games for the Gigantes in 2022 and will now head to Seattle, where he'll serve as infield bench depth for the M's. In his nine-year MLB career, La Stella has a .267/.337/.399 slash line, .736 OPS and 40 long balls in 667 games played.
The Seattle Mariners claimed right-hander J.B. Bukauskas off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday and designated outfielder Alberto Rodriguez for assignment in a corresponding move. Bukauskas didn't make it through waivers after Arizona designated him for assignment last Wednesday. The 26-year-old was injured to begin last season and never made it to the big leagues. In three minor-league stops in 2022, Bukauskas had a nice 2.42 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 22 strikeouts and only four walks in 22 1/3 frames over 23 appearances (one start). In his lone major-league campaign with the D-backs in 2021, he had a rough 7.79 ERA (5.77 FIP), 1.79 WHIP and 17.3 percent strikeout rate in 17 1/3 relief innings. Bukauskas will provide relief depth for the M's in 2023.
The Seattle Mariners agreed to a one-year, $4.1 million deal on Friday to avoid salary arbitration with first baseman Ty France. The 28-year-old has found a home in Seattle and has had a really nice last couple of seasons. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career in 2022 and finished with a .274/.338/.436 slash line, .774 OPS, career-high 20 home runs, career-high 83 RBI and 65 runs scored in 613 plate appearances over 140 games played. France isn't elite by any means, but he's not a bad consolation prize at the first base position and resides in a Mariners lineup that is dangerous. He has produced a .283 average, .795 OPS, 38 home runs and 157 RBI in his last two seasons with the M's.
The Seattle Mariners and relief pitcher Paul Sewald avoided salary arbitration on Friday be agreeing to a one-year, $4.1 million deal. Sewald had the best year of his career in his second season in Seattle in 2022, posting a career-low 2.67 ERA (3.88 FIP), career-low 0.77 WHIP, career-high 20 saves and 29.8 percent strikeout rate in 64 innings over 65 relief appearances. He did have surgery on both his elbow and heel in December, but he is expected to be ready for the start of spring training. The 32-year-old veteran should open the 2023 campaign as the favorite in Seattle for saves, but if he falters at all, the M's have some other pretty good ninth-inning options in Andres Munoz and Diego Castillo.