Mariners rebuilding bullpen in trade with Rangers

The Seattle Mariners made a very sneaky addition as they look to rebuild their bullpen. 

The Seattle Mariners have plenty to be excited about in 2021, with 2020 AL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis the piece most worth watching on this roster, but this roster has some glaring holes that will nip any attempt at the postseason in the bud. Luckily, the Mariners and the Texas Rangers, who have been very busy this offseason following the Lance Lynn trade, were able to work out a deal that gets Seattle an improving, hard-throwing right-hander out of the pen.

Jeff Passan confirmed that the Mariners acquired Rafael Montero from the Rangers, a sign that Jerry Dipoto is making the bullpen a top priority this offseason. Passan claims that the Mariners want to add more bullpen help, with sinkerball specialist Blake Treinen atop their list.

Rafael Montero could be the start of a Mariners’ bullpen resurgence

Montero might not be a very well-remembered name among New York Mets fans, as the former top prospect was subpar as a starter, posting a 5.38 ERA as a Met. The Rangers picked him up on a minor league deal, and they reaped the benefits after putting him in the bullpen. Montero posted a 2.48 ERA in 2019 before assuming the closer role in Texas last year and saving eight games.

Last season, Seattle’s bullpen ERA was the worst in the American League, and the confirmed acquisition of Montero paired with the potential signing of a player like Treinen could give the Mariners peace of mind when they have a lead late.

Seattle might have a long way to go before they can call themselves contenders, but the weak AL West could help Seattle starting turning things around much quicker than anticipated. If Montero continues to produce in the bullpen, their Achilles heel from last season could become a position of strength.