M’s Sign George Sherrill
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.