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Lefty Saunders reportedly agrees to deal with Mariners

Lefty Saunders reportedly agrees to deal with Mariners

SEATTLE –- Joe Saunders, a veteran left-hander who pitched for the Orioles and D-backs last season, has agreed to a one-year deal with the Mariners pending the completion of a physical exam, according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.

The Mariners wouldn't confirm the report on Thursday evening, but general manager Jack Zduriencik has been pursuing a proven pitcher to add to the rotation since dealing Jason Vargas to the Angels for Kendrys Morales in December.

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Saunders, 31, would give Seattle a third veteran to go along with Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma as the Mariners also bring along a host of talented youngsters that include returning hurlers Erasmo Ramirez and Blake Beavan and top prospects Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, Taijuan Walker and Brandon Maurer.

Saunders went 9-13 with a 4.07 ERA last season for Arizona and Baltimore, finishing out the season with a 3-3 mark and 3.63 ERA in seven starts with the Orioles after a late-August trade.

Saunders would add a left-hander to a rotation that has only right-handed returnees, though Hultzen and Paxton are both southpaws coming up.

Saunders, who spent the first six years of his career with the Angels, has a 6-0 record and 2.13 ERA in 55 innings over nine starts at Safeco Field. His career record is 78-65 with a 4.15 ERA in 189 games.

The Virginia native was an All-Star in 2008 when he went 17-7 with a 3.41 ERA for the Angels. He became a free agent this year after earning $6 million in 2012.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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