SEATTLE, Wash. -- Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik announced today that the Mariners have signed right-handed pitcher Tyler Walker to a contract for the 2009 season. Per club policy, terms were not disclosed.
"Tyler is a pitcher we had identified early on as a guy who could help us in the bullpen," Zduriencik said. "He has the ability to pitch in any role: middle relief, set-up and he has experience as a closer."
Walker, 32, was 5-8, 4.56 in 65 games in relief last season with the San Francisco Giants. In 53.1 innings pitched, he allowed just 47 hits and struck out 49 while walking only 21. He registered a career-high 19 holds, and the 65 games pitched was the second-highest total of his career (67 in 2005). He stranded 32 of 39 inherited runners (82.1%) and held opponents scoreless in 51 of 65 games, overall. He also limited right-handed hitters to .186 (14-for-129) batting average against.
A veteran of six big league seasons, Walker has pitched with the Mets (2002), Tampa Bay (2006) and San Francisco (2004-06, 2007-08). He has compiled a career mark of 20-17 with a 4.52 earned run average in 230 games, 1 start, with 34 saves. He worked as the Giants closer in 2005, logging 23 saves. Walker had 10 saves with the Rays after being traded to Tampa Bay in 2006 prior to undergoing "Tommy John" surgery on July 6, 2006. Since returning to the Majors on Aug. 29, 2007, he is 7-8 with a 3.86 ERA.
The 6-foot-3, 262-pound pitcher resides in Nicasio, California. He is a product of University (SF) High School and the University of California at Berkeley.