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Joe Saunders’ deal with Mariners worth $6.5 million

Feb 8, 2013, 6:23 PM EDT

Joe Saunders Getty Getty Images

UPDATE: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Saunders will make $6.5 million and could earn an additional $1 million with incentives. The deal includes a mutual option for 2014.

4:49 PM: It’s not official yet, but Joe Saunders has agreed to a one-year deal with the Mariners and Jon Heyman of says it’ll be worth “around $7 million” in guaranteed money.

That’s basically the same contract Brett Myers got from the Indians and a step above one-year deals secured by guys like Shaun Marcum, John Lannan, Jeff Karstens, Mike Pelfrey, Scott Baker, and Jason Marquis this offseason.

Saunders had his sights set on a multi-year deal after throwing 175 innings with a 4.07 ERA for the Diamondbacks and Orioles last season and the 32-year-old left-hander was linked to a fair number of teams, but ultimately none made him a priority.

Saunders will basically replace Jason Vargas in the rotation after the Mariners traded him to the Angels for Kendrys Morales.

  1. unclemosesgreen - Feb 8, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    He will be a “seamless” transition stepping into the Jason Vargas role. I am now prepared to bid aggressively on Saunders and pay like it’s 2008 for him all over again, minus a few wins.

  2. dowhatifeellike - Feb 8, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    Good luck with that, Seattle.

  3. Reflex - Feb 8, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Interestingly enough, thats beneath what they were paying Vargas, who is a nearly identical pitcher. He’s getting 8.75 mil this year for the Halos. Since Kendrys is gettign $5.25 mil this year, the M’s basically grabbed a power bat with some upside for $3.5 mil.

    Pretty savvy.

    • jarathen - Feb 8, 2013 at 6:29 PM

      Don’t get why the Angels didn’t just bring Saunders back and trade Morales for something else.

      • unclemosesgreen - Feb 8, 2013 at 7:00 PM

        Because they already have the original Jason Vargas. I know, it’s confusing.

  4. historiophiliac - Feb 8, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    That is nearly 5 Svelte Delmon Youngs!

  5. fearthehoody - Feb 8, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    “I approve this signing!”

    – Bill Bavasi

    • seattlej - Feb 8, 2013 at 9:22 PM

      Nah, Bavasi would have given him a 5-year contract at the same AAV.

      Saunders as a 1-year stop-gap signing is good. Saunders (or someone similar…) for multiple years is bad. (See Zito, Barry).

  6. halohonk - Feb 8, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Vargas era the last 3 yrs at Angels stadium 1.83 hes a So Cal guy pitched with Weave at Long Beach St. I remember when we traded Saunders for Haren. That was tough he came up through the Halo organization & had 16 wins the yr before the trade even with a 4.70 era. But Haren was good so they made the trade. Saunders cried like a baby when he found out he had been traded. Took him a couple of years to get his confidence back. I like Joe but he gives up a ton of runs. Morales does have some pop but his ankle is messed up. Cant see how this helps Seattle to much but hey after last year they can only get better.

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