MLBTR’s Steve Adams has details on the extension the Mariners signed reliever Andres Munoz to last offseason. At the time, the contract was known to have four years and $7.5MM guaranteed, with three club options available to Seattle. Adams reports that Munoz received a $750K signing bonus in addition to a $750K salary in 2022.
Going forward, Munoz will receive base salaries of $1.5MM, $2MM and $2.5MM from 2023-25, years he otherwise would have been eligible for arbitration. Seattle’s club options cover what would have been Munoz’s first three free agent years, with the options starting at $6MM in 2026 before increasing to $8MM in 2027 and finally $10MM in 2028. Those option years can be boosted by up to $1MM through escalators based on games finished the previous season. Finishing 20, 30, 40, and 45 games between 2025-27 would each escalate the following season’s club option by $250K. Hitting those same benchmarks during the 2026-28 campaigns would trigger an extra $500K apiece in incentives during that season. None of the options comes with a buyout.
Seattle’s confidence in Munoz was rewarded this season, as the righty was among the best relievers in the sport this season. In 65 regular season innings this year, Munoz posted a fantastic 2.49 ERA and an even more impressive 2.04 FIP while racking up 96 strikeouts before appearing in all five of Seattle’s games this postseason. Averaging 100 mph on his fastball, Munoz is a flamethrower who combines his 52.6% groundball rate (less than a percentage point behind the likes of Sandy Alcanatara) with the sixth highest strikeout rate in the majors this year. Among the five pitchers above him, only Jacob deGrom has a lower walk rate, and Munoz ranks third in all of baseball to only deGrom and Edwin Diaz in K/BB.
Munoz did all this while playing through injury, as president of baseball ops Jerry Dipoto announced yesterday that Munoz would undergo surgery on his foot this offseason. While no specifics were provided on the surgery, the expectation appears to be that Munoz will be ready for spring training next year.
Given Munoz’s elite stuff and results, the contract now looks like stellar value for the Mariners. At the time he signed the deal, Munoz was relatively new to the organization. He’d undergone Tommy John surgery in early 2020, and he was rehabbing from that when the M’s acquired him from the Padres at the 2020 trade deadline. He missed almost all of 2021, making just one appearance at the end of the campaign. Nevertheless, Seattle offered him some financial security last winter, taking the chance he’d break out after the extended layoff. He’s done exactly that, and the team’s reward for rolling the dice on Munoz is another six seasons of affordable control over a 23 year old relief ace.
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