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Mariners acquire Zach Duke, Adam Warren to bolster bullpen

Zach Duke, once a promising starter for the Pittsburgh Pirates, is going to Seattle from Minnesota to bolster the Mariners’ bullpen. (Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)
Zach Duke, once a promising starter for the Pittsburgh Pirates, is going to Seattle from Minnesota to bolster the Mariners’ bullpen. (Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)

SEATTLE – The Seattle Mariners continued to work on their bullpen Monday, acquiring left-hander Zach Duke from the Minnesota Twins and right-hander Adam Warren from the New York Yankees for a pair of minor leaguers.

The trades on the eve of the non-waiver deadline provided two more relief options for manager Scott Servais with Seattle in the playoff hunt in the A.L. West.

The Mariners sent pitcher Chase De Jong and infielder Ryan Costello to the Twins, and dealt $1.25 million in international signing bonus allocation to the Yankees for Warren.

“Obviously a lot of teams are looking to add to the bullpen this time of year with the trade deadline coming up. I’m not surprised,” Servais said. “It may not be the last thing we do.”

General manager Jerry Dipoto said recently he was hoping to add another righty to the bullpen and pick up a left-handed specialist as well to take some stress off James Pazos. He accomplished both by acquiring Sam Tuivailala from St. Louis late last week and then landing Duke and Warren.

Dipoto said the additions combined with what Seattle already has in its bullpen should help Servais keep everyone fresh.

“He can do that and not just burden anybody with too much workload,” Dipoto said. “And that’s part of this too, just trying to make sure each guy we send out there does his job, and maybe taking the burden off the next guy.”

The 35-year-old Duke went 3-4 with a 3.62 ERA in 45 appearances for the Twins. He has limited left-handed batters to a .237 average this season.

Minnesota is sending $75,000 to Seattle as part of the deal. Duke is owed $716,667 of his $2.15 million salary. He has earned a $200,000 bonus for making 40 pitching appearances and can earn up to $1.3 million more, getting the entire amount if he makes 65 pitching appearances.

“Duke’s got a pretty good track record of getting lefties out. The last couple of years he’s been pretty good against the righties, too,” Servais said. “He’s got different arm angles, a little bit different look, he’s got experience, so a welcome addition.”

Duke was playing catch on the field before Minnesota’s home game against Cleveland when he was summoned for a meeting with chief baseball officer Derek Falvey, general manager Thad Levine and manager Paul Molitor.

The Mariners will be Duke’s seventh team in the past six seasons. He signed with Minnesota in the offseason and also has played for Pittsburgh, Washington, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, St. Louis and the Chicago White Sox. Duke became primarily a reliever in 2012 after starting his career with the Pirates as a starter.

“I truly enjoyed my time here. Love the guys in this room, and I’m going to miss them,” Duke said. “But I’m looking very forward to being out there in a pennant race.”

The 30-year-old Warren, often used as a long reliever, was 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 24 appearances this season, interrupted by a stint on the disabled list from April 21 through June 3 caused by a strained back. He has a $3,315,000 salary and is eligible for free agency after the World Series.

The 24-year-old De Jong started 21 games for Double-A Arkansas, going 5-5 with a 3.80 ERA, but pitched in the majors last year for Seattle as it cycled through 16 different starting pitchers due to injuries. De Jong made four starts and appeared in seven games for the Mariners. The 22-year-old Costello hit .266 with 70 RBIs for Class A Clinton.

To replace Duke on the 25-man roster, the Twins reinstated reliever Addison Reed from the 10-day disabled list. He missed the past 16 games with right triceps tightness.


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