The Mariners have signed right-hander Brett de Geus to a minor league, according to the transactions tracker on his MLB.com profile page. He has since been assigned to Triple-A Tacoma.
de Geus, 26, began his professional career when he was selected by the Dodgers in the 33rd round of the 2017 draft. He made his big league debut with the Rangers during the 2021 season, though his rookie seasons did not go particularly well. In 50 innings of work split between the Rangers and Diamondbacks, de Geus struggled badly with a 7.56 ERA and 5.07 FIP. He struck out just 17.2% of batters faced while walking 10.5%, ratios his standout 52.5% groundball rate was unable to make up for. Those struggles at the big league level led de Geus to spend the 2022 season in the independent Atlantic League, which he remained in for the start of the 2023 season as well.
Just six appearances into his second season of independent ball, however, he jumped ship to sign with the Royals on a minor league contract. de Geus’s first season back in organized ball saw him post mixed results; while he was shelled to the tune of a 11.45 in 11 innings of work at the Triple-A level, he impressed in 35 1/3 Double-A innings with a 2.80 ERA. Looking under the hood of that Double-A performance, de Geus struck out 20.6% of batters faced while generating groundballs at a 56.8% clip.
Clearly, in signing de Geus Seattle is making a bet that his Double-A numbers last season are more indicative of his overall ability than his 11-inning stint at the highest level of the minors last year. Despite his largely middling results, de Geus could prove to be an interesting piece of bullpen depth as the Mariners enter the 2024 campaign thanks to his proclivity for keeping the ball on the ground. It’s a trait the Mariners clearly value in relief arms, as the club’s bullpen posted an impressive 48.2% groundball rate last season, good for the third-best figure in the majors behind only the Yankees and Cardinals.