Seattle Mariners Select LHP David Rollins In Rule 5 Draft


Some teams have complicated offseason to-do lists. Take the Detroit Tigers, for example, who had to trade a starter in order to make room so that they could trade for a slightly different starter. Or just look at Oakland, who fluctuate between “buy” and “sell” mode seemingly every couple of minutes. It’s not so easy for everyone.

For the Seattle Mariners, this offseason is fairly straightforward. They needed to find an outfielder or two they liked better than Michael Saunders, add some rotation depth, and find a lefty reliever. And while they’re still a couple outfielders away from being able to call it an offseason, they can at least check lefty reliever off their list.

The major league portion of the Rule 5 Draft just wrapped up, and the M’s made a selection, snatching left-handed pitcher David Rollins from the Houston Astros. Rollins, it appears, will get every chance to be the Mariners’ second lefty out of the ‘pen after setup man Charlie Furbush. If he can’t stick on the big league roster, he goes back to Houston.

Seattle, of course, has gone this route before, selecting Lucas Luetge as a Rule 5 guy a few years ago and then sticking him in the major league bullpen for a year so as to gain control of his rights. Rollins made it to AAA for the first time a year ago, making one start, but spent the bulk of his year in AA. So he’ll be making a jump if he cracks the roster, but not a jump we haven’t seen before.

And there’s a good chance he may be ready for the show. Rollins is only 24 years old and got his first extended look as a reliever last year, having been used exclusively as a starter up until that point. In this case that’s good, since the bullpen route is the fastest path for Rollins to make the majors. Best yet, it doesn’t close the door on starting down the road.

The other thing about Rollins is that he throws gas, clocking around 95-96 with his heater. He’s always been a good strikeout guy, and has even limited walks. He could probably be a good big league relief option right now, and the Mariners sure seem to share that sentiment. Throw in the fact that the M’s actually drafted him twice before this, and it starts to seem more and more like this is a guy who’ll stick on the active roster all year long.

David Rollins is a guy the M’s have had their eyes on for a while, and now he’s one of their guys. He’s a low-cost, lower-risk pickup for a team that likes him and has a spot for him. He’s young, throws hard, and doesn’t have any glaring red flags. He could even become a starter down the line! As much as a Rule 5 pick can be a “big win,” this is a big win.