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Mariners pick up reliever Evan Scribner from the A’s

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Needing to add to their pen after trading Carson Smith, Tom Wilhelmsen and every other reliever they’ve developed in recent years, the Mariners acquired right-hander Evan Scribner from the A’s in exchange for right-handed prospect Trey Cochran-Gill.

It’s a minor deal, for sure, but it should be noted that Scribner is coming off the most remarkable season ever for a reliever with a 4.35 ERA.

Yes, Scribner had a 64/4 K/BB ratio in his 60 innings. Only Eck had ever done better. No one else has even come in over 13:1.

So, how did he end up with a 4.35 ERA? He gave up a whopping 14 homers. He’s the only pitcher in history to end a season with at least three times as many homers allowed as walks issued. After Scribner’s 3.5:1. the next highest ratio of homers to walks was Carlos Silva’s 25 HR/9 BB season in 188 1/3 innings in 2005.

Cochran-Gill, 22, is a decent relief prospect in the Dan Otero mold. He could help the A’s in 2017.

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.