A nice little pick up by the Seattle Mariners today, as they add lefty reliever Hong-Chih Kuo to their bullpen. The former Dodgers setup man signs a one-year Major League contract, a pretty good deal for a player with his recent injury history.
The injury history overshadows the dominant fashion in which Kuo went about his business over the last three years. He boasted one of the best strikeout rates in the Majors across 2008-2010 before running into health issues in 2011. Another elbow surgery and a scary bout with anxiety issues limited the fireballing lefty to 40 very bad appearances in 2011.
If he is healthy, Kuo gives the Mariners an excellent setup option for closer Brandon League. If unhealthy, well, there are no bad one-year deals. An exciting pitcher like Hong-Chih Kuo makes all of baseball better, let alone a team looking for excellent relief pitching like the M’s. Taking a chance on a once great, oft-injured hurler on a one-year deal has almost no downside.
Update: The Mariners signed Shawn Camp, too! Superpen in the Northwest!