So apparently the Mariners front office was a little busy today.
Only hours after reporting that Seattle and Felix Hernandez had come to an agreement on a new seven-year, $175 million contract, Seattle has now reportedly also signed free-agent left-hander Joe Saunders to a one-year deal pending a physical.
Saunders essentially will take the place of Jason Vargas in the rotation, who was traded this offseason to the Los Angeles Angels for Kendrys Morales. He will most likely slide in to the second or third slot in the rotation behind Felix and Hisashi Iwakuma, and potentially in front of Erasmo Ramirez and Blake Beavan.
The signing of Saunders provides the Mariners with much-needed depth in the rotation as they await their young pitching prospects Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker, Brandon Maurer and James Paxton to arrive. This signing may also push Hector Noesi down to Triple-A where he can work on his arsenal after a very disappointing 2012 season.
Mariners Reportedly Ink Joe Saunders to One-Year Deal
Bleacher Report | Feb 7