Mariners sign RHP Yoshihisa Hirano to one-year deal

San Diego Padres v Arizona Diamondbacks

The Seattle Mariners signed right-handed relief pitch Yoshihisa Hirano to a one-year deal on Thursday.

Hirano, 35, spent last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks and went 5-5 with one save and a 4.75 ERA over 53 innings pitched with 22 walks and 61 strikeouts over 62 relief appearances.

“We’re glad to have Yoshi on board,” Mariners G.M. Jerry Dipoto said in a statement from the team. “We believe his combination of experience and bat-missing ability brings needed stability to our bullpen.”

Hiarno has spent two seasons in Major League Baseball with the Diamondbacks after playing 11 seasons if professional baseball in Japan for the Orix Buffaloes. He appeared in 75 games as a rookie in MLB with a 4-3 record, 2.44 ERA and three saves. He pitched 66 1/3 innings with 59 strikeouts and 23 walks.

The Mariners designated left-handed pitcher Ricardo Sanchez for assignment to open a spot for Hirano's addition on the 40-man roster.

Sanchez pitched for Double-A Arkansas last year in Seattle's minor league system after being acquired by the Mariners for cash considerations from the Atlanta Braves the previous offseason. Sanchez went 8-12 with a 4.75 ERA over 146 innings with 38 walks and 135 strikeouts. He set career-highs in starts (27), innings pitched (146.0) and strikeouts (135). His 135 strikeouts were 2nd-most in the Texas league, trailing only Justin Dunn (158).

The Mariners also have reportedly reached an agreement with left-handed pitcher Wei-Yin Chen, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Chen has pitched in the majors since coming to MLB in 2012 with the Baltimore Orioles. He pitched his first four seasons in Baltimore and has spent the last four years with the Miami Marlins.

Chen has been a starter for most of his career but appeared in 45 games as a reliever for the Marlins last year. He was 0-1 with a 6.59 ERA in 68 1/3 innings pitched.

Photo Credit: PHOENIX, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 28: Yoshihisa Hirano #66 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a pitch in the eighth inning of the MLB game against the San Diego Padres at Chase Field on September 28, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

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