M’s Sign George Sherrill

Dave · December 17, 2011 at 8:26 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

As first reported by Jason Churchill this afternoon, the Mariners have come to terms with George Sherrill on a one year deal, apparently worth just over $1 million with some incentives that could push the total a bit higher.

The M’s have talked about adding a veteran to the bullpen all winter, and the team was also a bit low on left-handers, so Sherrill checks two boxes on the off-season wish list. Now, make no mistake, he’s strictly a lefty specialist at this point in his career, but he’s really good in that role. Last year, he faced 82 left-handed batters, walking one and striking out 32. His FIP against LHBs was 0.81, the best in baseball among pitchers with 20+ IP against LHBs.

You don’t ever want him facing a right-hander in any kind of important situation, though. He faced 68 RHBs, walking 11 and striking out just six, running a 6.03 FIP against opposite handed batters. His heavy slider usage and arm slot make him a weapon against left-handed bats, but a batting practice machine against right-handed ones. If used correctly, he could be a real nice piece in the bullpen, but the M’s didn’t just acquire a guy who can take over in the closer role or anything.

My guess is that this move will push Charlie Furbush back to Triple-A to start 2012, as I’ve heard pretty good things about minor league invitee Sean Henn, and they probably won’t want to stunt Furbush’s development by using him as a second lefty in the ‘pen. For not that much more than the league minimum, adding a nice situational lefty is a pretty solid move. Sherrill won’t exactly change the team’s fortunes by himself, but there’s not much to dislike about this move.


25 Responses to “M’s Sign George Sherrill”

  1. IwearMsHats on December 17th, 2011 9:10 pm

    Yay relief!

  2. spankystout on December 17th, 2011 9:15 pm

    He should have never been traded. So, welcome home Sherrill!

  3. SonOfZavaras on December 17th, 2011 9:51 pm

    I’m still a bit upset that the Padres aced us out of some young talent- particularly Grandal- that I wanted to see in Mariners blue…but at least George is back.

    And Carlos Beltran is still out there to be had. One wonders what in the world Zduriencik has for 2012 plans on his mind, the possibilities are dwindling JUST a bit.

    Hmmm, but that leads me to pose a question, y’all. Putting aside a Carlos Beltran for a moment, we all know that we have some interesting young OF pieces in Trayvon Robinson, maybe Vinny Catricala…the vast majority of them need a few hundred AAA at-bats, though.

    ..does a signing like, say, a Cody Ross or Matt Murton make sense if all we need is one half-season before those two and others are ready for an audition with the big club?

  4. greentunic on December 17th, 2011 10:52 pm

    Maybe signing George Sherrill will make Prince Fielder want to play in Seattle?


  5. Sports on a Schtick on December 17th, 2011 11:11 pm

    Glad to see The Sheriff back in town.

  6. jamieandjoe1997 on December 17th, 2011 11:21 pm

    Great signing. Love it.

  7. Valenica on December 17th, 2011 11:39 pm

    I have an irrational love for LOOGYs just because the name is so funny.

    Good to see we got ourselves a pretty nice one.

  8. Westside guy on December 18th, 2011 1:05 am

    Glad to see The Sheriff back in town.

    I didn’t realize Norm Charlton was still playing baseball!

  9. make_dave_proud on December 18th, 2011 8:36 am

    I like this move on the irrational basis that George got the major leagues by way of the independent leagues. Great story, glad to see he’s still hanging around.

  10. B13a on December 18th, 2011 9:05 am

    Wow, I had no idea Sherrill was THAT dominant against lefties.

  11. Mariners35 on December 18th, 2011 10:33 am

    I hear Adam Jones might be available, if the O’s don’t want to extend him and feel the need to trade for pitching… 🙂

    Seriously, Sherrill is pretty much exactly what the pen needed, and the price is right. Nice pickup.

  12. just a fan on December 18th, 2011 1:45 pm

    SonofZavaras – Don’t be upset about us not getting that haul from Cincinnati. Our consolation prize is Michael Pineda. 🙂

  13. JoshJones on December 18th, 2011 2:51 pm

    JackZ is doing a great job with the few moves the M’s have made over the past year. The signing of George Sherrill is exactly what the bullpen needed.

    Fielder is who Z wants to get this offseason. Three years ago Z promised this team would be a contender in 2-3 years. With all the moves the Angels and Rangers have made since then those expectations have obviously changed.

    At this point it really seems like the M’s have 2 choices.

    A: Go for it by signing Fielder then expanding payroll next year to bring in another impact player.

    B: Trade Felix and League and restock this team.

  14. GLS on December 18th, 2011 3:16 pm

    I really like this signing. I have a question though. For a player that is an extreme specialist like George Sherrill, is WAR still a valid analytical tool to measure his contribution? I’m wondering about this because I started thinking about his extreme split vs. LHBs, and it seems like, used optimally, his value would be best expressed via some other set of metrics. But, perhaps I’m confusing the concept of WAR as a measure of a player’s value to the team vs. other metrics that measure the player’s performance relative to what he is being asked to do.

  15. everett on December 19th, 2011 9:08 am

    GLS, you probably want something along the lines of WPA (win probability added), or WPA/LI (LI = leverage index). The primary problem with these stats as they pertain to Sherill is that they’re heavily influenced by usage. So, if a manager leaves him in to face righties, he’s going to take a beating.

  16. terry on December 19th, 2011 9:14 am

    Death to Lefties welcome home to the land where righty pull hitters are tortured souls…..

  17. GLS on December 19th, 2011 2:20 pm

    Thanks Everett. As you suspected, I was thinking primarily of the issue of usage. I will look into WPA and WPA/LI.

  18. Kyle in Illinois on December 19th, 2011 2:29 pm

    Dave, I see an MLBTR piece saying the Royals are “eyeing young starters.” 1) Do you think they would consider swapping Moustakas for Pineda in the right package and 2) do you think the Mariners should consider that?

  19. mitchb on December 19th, 2011 2:35 pm

    The Royals also mentioned they don’t want to move Wil Myers, but any chance they could consider it for Pineda?

  20. shim on December 19th, 2011 6:30 pm

    Glad to see George back in the fold. I will never forget his memorable line in the 2007 Mariner’s commercial, “Thinking Man’s Game”. Classic. http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/sea/fan_forum/commercials_2007.jsp

  21. jjracoon on December 23rd, 2011 12:13 pm

    With the addition of Sherrill, the bull pen looks complete unless some of them are used in a trade.

    League closer
    and Henn if carrying seven

    Leaves Delabar/Furbush and a couple other minor league possibilities waiting. Though Furbush gives you a nice number 6 starter.

  22. jjracoon on December 23rd, 2011 12:18 pm

    Looking at the rest of the team and it is looking like that has filled in too.

    OF Ichiro Gutierrez Wells Carp and Ford as sub
    IF Figgins Ryan Seager Ackley Smoak and Kawasaki as sub
    C Jaso/Olivo

    and there you go with 13 plus of course Fielder if you want to go with 11 pitchers!!!!!!!

  23. jjracoon on December 23rd, 2011 12:23 pm

    Oh yeah the starters

    Hultzen if he isnt ready then Francis/Moyer

  24. jjracoon on December 23rd, 2011 12:33 pm

    In a trade orchestrated by a mad scientist, the Cubs, Mariners and Marlins change parts:

    Mariners send Ryan, Figgins and Peguero to the Cubs getting back Carlos Zambrano
    They send Pineda and Paxson to the Marlins for Hanley Ramirez
    The Cubs send three high level minors leaguers to the Marlins and get Logan Morrison

  25. jjracoon on December 23rd, 2011 12:44 pm

    Mariner now find themselves with a starting lineup of:


    and starter pitching of

    Moyer or Hultzen if ready

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