Seattle Mariners sign RHP Luke Weaver to a 1-year contract

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - AUGUST 13: Luke Weaver #34 of the Cincinnati Reds delivers a pitch in the first inning during game two of a doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on August 13, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by J

The Seattle Mariners signed Luke Weaver to a one-year contract Tuesday and reinstated fellow right-hander Bryan Woo from the 15-day injured list. 

Weaver was released by Cincinnati on Friday. He went 2-4 with a 6.87 ERA in 21 starts with the Reds.

Manager Scott Servais said Weaver will work out of Seattle's bullpen, but could start if the team needed someone to step into the rotation.

"Certainly to get him, you had to present a major league opportunity, and that's what we had," Servais said. "I've seen him pitch a little bit in the past. He has good stuff.

"Like a lot of guys when they come to us, try to break down what they do and give them a very simple plan and see if he can go out and execute that. Along the way, you know we tweak a few things here or there and hopefully we can catch lightning in a bottle so to speak."

Weaver, who turned 30 on Monday, was selected by St. Louis in the first round of the 2014 amateur draft. He is 26-40 with a 5.16 ERA in eight seasons with the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Royals and Reds, making 102 starts in 136 appearances.

Woo had been sidelined by forearm inflammation. The rookie right-hander pitched four innings of one-run ball in a 6-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox in his first big league start since Aug. 3.

"Just wanted to go out and be efficient," Woo said. "Obviously, like I said, didn't do a great job of it in the first, but was able to kind of bounce back a little bit and do a much better job in those next couple innings."

All-Star center fielder Julio Rodríguez was expected to return to the starting lineup on Tuesday, but he was scratched because of an illness. Rodríguez rested during Monday's 14-2 victory over the White Sox.

"He looks much better here after the game," Servais said after Seattle's eighth straight win. "Got some medicine in him. So hopefully he'll be available for tomorrow."

The Mariners also transferred right-hander Emerson Hancock to the 60-day IL. Right-handers Darren McCaughan and Eduard Bazardo were optioned to Triple-A Tacoma after the series opener at Chicago.

Hancock, one of the team’s top prospects, was placed on the 15-day IL on Monday with a right shoulder strain. He was selected by Seattle with the No. 6 pick in the 2020 amateur draft.

Servais had contemplated using a six-man rotation at some point to help with the workload for some of the team's young pitchers. But Hancock's injury changes the equation for the Mariners.

"I'm not sure where we go here," Servais said. "We're sitting here, we're getting to the end of August, you know you could add another pitcher in September, which helps. But you're looking to get through this road trip. We have a six-game homestand (when) we get back.

"I know five guys that are going to start. I don't know if there is going to be a sixth one or not."