Last Friday, the Mariners and their blossoming reliever, Evan Scribner, avoided arbitration agreeing to a deal worth nearly a million dollars.
It may have only been a brief 12-game stint for the Mariners right-hander, but Scribner proved that he was worth the $807,000 he signed for coming from the Oakland Athletics via a trade at the end of the 2015 season.
Mariners GM, Jerry Dipoto, had been familiar with Scribner’s game even before he himself settled down in Seattle.
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As the GM for the Los Angeles Angels, Dipoto’s Angels faced Scribners Athletics nearly 70 times during Dipoto’s years with the Angels from the beginning of the 2012 season til his resignation from the team in July of 2015.
Scribner participated in a quarter of those matchups and struggled uncharacteristically, especially during the 2014 and 15′ campaigns when it appeared he was beginning to hit his stride.
During that stretch, Scribner allowed runs in four of his nine starts against the Angels including three games in which he allowed a home run and twice allowing more than one run.
Over the course of those two seasons, Scribner would only face the Angels nine times. Those near dozen encounters definitely didn’t reflect his capability as a pitcher, and Dipoto recognized that.
In 2015, Scribner posted career-bests when playing in at least 15 games with games played (54), BB/9 (0.6), and K/9 (9.6). His ERA was 4.35, but that was his lowest earned run average since 2012.
Due to a torn lat muscle towards the back end of the 2015 season, Scribner would miss most of the 2016 season with the Mariners; it was the second time in his short career that he was diagnosed with this issue.
Despite the injury, Dipoto would pay Scribner’s arbitration salary of $807,000.
Nevertheless, once Scribner was able to return to the field almost a year to the day when he had last stepped on the mound, he was ready to go.
In 12 appearances, Scribner never surrendered a single run and only issued to free passes over 14 frames. Even more impressive, in six of his final seven outings, the righty fanned at least one batter, including multiple batters in four of those affairs.
It was that showcase, along with Dipoto’s previous knowledge of Scribner’s game that earned the Mariners reliever his highest pay day to date.