Mariners' Steve Cishek: Expected to begin pitching by April
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(12/5/2016) Cishek (hip) is expected to begin pitching by April, Greg Johns of reports.

Cishek underwent surgery on Oct. 12 to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. It is possible that he will begin the season with a minor league rehab assignment or in extended spring training. With Edwin Diaz securing the Mariners' closer role, it is possible that Cishek will operate in a set-up capacity once healthy.

Mariners' Tony Zych: Expected to be ready for spring training
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(12/5/2016) Zych (shoulder) is expected to be fully ready for spring training, Greg Johns of reports.

Zych was operating as a late-inning reliever for the Mariners in 2016 prior to being placed on the 60-day disabled list. He posted an impressive 13.83 K/9 as well as a concerning 6.59 BB/9 over 13.2 innings pitched. With Edwin Diaz locked in as the team's closer, Zych will likely fall into a middle relief or occasional set-up role in 2017.

Mariners' Christian Bergman: Signs minor league deal with Mariners
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(12/5/2016) Bergman agreed to a minor league contract with the Mariners, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports.

Bergman spent the past few seasons as a long reliever/spot starter for the Rockies, but he was cut after posting a horrific 8.39 ERA in 24.2 innings in the majors last season. The right-hander's numbers definitely suggest that some of the struggles in his career can be attributed to the hitter-friendly environment at Coors Field, but his career .345 BABIP and 5.5 K/9 will likely keep the 28-year-old from having a very big role in his new organization.

Astros' Ashur Tolliver: Claimed by Astros
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(12/5/2016) Tolliver was claimed off waivers by the Astros on Monday, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports.

This marks the second time Tolliver was plucked off waivers since September, as two teams now have deemed him unworthy of a 40-man roster spot. The left-hander's numbers in the minor leagues were solid though, as he struck out 42 batters and only allowed 11 runs across 40/1 innings at the Double-A and Triple-A levels last season, so if he can translate any of that success to the big leagues, he could serve as a decent low-leverage arm out of the bullpen.

Giants' Mark Melancon: Set to join Giants
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(12/5/2016) Melancon has agreed to a contract with the Giants, ESPN's Buster Olney reports.

The deal is still pending a physical, but barring any hiccups, Melancon is on the move from the East Coast to the West Coast. He is primed to take over as the Giants' closer, a role they had a difficult time filling effectively at the end of the previous campaign. Melancon is coming off arguably the best season of his career, one which saw him post a 1.64 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, and 65:12 K:BB over 75 appearances with the Pirates and Nationals.

Joaquin Benoit: Close to signing with Phillies
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(12/5/2016) The Phillies are close to signing Benoit, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philadelphia reports.

The signing is expected to be announced before Thursday. Benoit had a 2.81 ERA and posted a 25.5 percent strikeout rate in 48 innings last season for the Mariners and Blue Jays. The Phillies will enter spring training with an open competition for their closing role and Benoit will likely be in the mix for the job.

Braves' Jacob Lindgren: Agrees to deal with Braves
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(12/4/2016) Lindgren signed a one-year deal with the Braves on Sunday.

Because he underwent Tommy John surgery in August, Lindgren may not be ready for action once the 2017 season rolls around. Before getting injured in 2016, Lindgren threw seven innings over six games at High-A Tampa and recorded an 8:9 K:BB in that time.

Mariners' Dean Kiekhefer: Designated for assignment
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(12/3/2016) Kiekhefer was designated for assignment by the Mariners on Saturday, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports.

Kiekhefer's Mariners tenure didn't last a month, as the team opted to clear his roster spot for one of two pitchers with actual track records of major league success in Casey Fien or Mark Rzepczynksi. Kiekhefer's strong minor league numbers should be able to find him a new organization, but he might have to wait a while before a return to the majors.

Mariners' Casey Fien: Signs with Mariners
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(12/3/2016) Fien signed a contract with the Mariners on Saturday, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports.

The terms of the deal are not yet known, but the Mariners did clear a 40-man roster spot for him. The 33-year-old struggled to a 5.49 ERA in 39.1 total innings last season between the Twins and Dodgers, allowing a horrific 3.0 home runs per nine innings. He will likely factor in low on the Seattle bullpen depth chart.

Jon Edwards: Non-tendered by Padres
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
(12/3/2016) The Padres declined to tender Edwards (elbow) a contract Friday, making him a free agent, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

A flexor strain suffered in spring training put Edwards on the DL to begin the season, and an early-June setback effectively ended his year. Edwards' health is still a question mark heading into the spring and he will probably not be assured an Opening Day bullpen job no matter where he signs.

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