With the 2012 season in the books, MLB teams may now officially begin signing free agents. Free agency is often more exciting than the season itself, depending where your loyalties are.
The Seattle Mariners took little time to make their first offseason moves, bringing back pitchers Hisashi Iwakuma and Oliver Pérez.
Iwakuma, a 31-year-old rookie last season, proved to be very reliable and versatile last season. In 30 appearances (16 starts), Iwakuma compiled a record of 9-5 with a 3.16 ERA, adding two saves to his stat line.
He only seemed to improve with each start, and by the end of the season had solidified himself in the rotation. On Friday, Seattle signed Iwakuma to a two-year, $14 million contract.
Lefty Oliver Pérez rejuvenated his career last year, pitching in the majors for the first time since 2010.
Pérez appeared in 33 games out of the bullpen for the Mariners, going 1-3 with a 2.12 ERA, proving to be one of Seattle's best and most consistent relievers. Also 31, Pérez agreed to stay in Seattle for another season to the tune of $1.5 million plus up to $600,000 in performance bonuses.
Now that the M's have partially shored up their pitching staff, here's why they should pursue outfielder B.J. Upton.