Archive for the ‘ Roster Moves ’ Category

Mariners Announce Provisional 28-Man Opening Day Roster

Final Roster not due to MLB until Wednesday, March 28.

TOKYO, Japan — Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager Jack Zduriencik announced today the Mariners planned 28-man roster for the season opener in Japan.

FINAL ROSTERS ARE NOT DUE TO MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL UNTIL 1 PM ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28. The Mariners Opening Day roster will NOT be official until that time.

To move from 30 players (the travel roster to Japan) to 28 eligible players, the Mariners made the following roster moves:

  • OF Carlos Peguero, RHP Chance Ruffin were optioned to AAA Tacoma.
  • C Guillermo Quiroz was re-assigned to minor league camp.

To set the Opening Day roster, the Mariners made the following roster moves:

  • INF Munenori Kawasaki, RHP Kevin Millwood (still in Arizona) and RHP Erasmo Ramirez selected from Tacoma.

The Major League 40-man roster is now at 40 players.

To move from 28 players (the Opening Day Roster) to 25 eligible players, the Mariners made the following moves:

  • RHP Kevin Millwood, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma and RHP Hector Noesi designated as ineligible for the Japan Opening Series vs. the A’s.

Here is a look at the 28-man Opening Day roster (players in italics are not eligible for the first two games):

Pitchers (11+3)
49 BEAVAN, Blake RHP
18 IWAKUMA, Hisashi RHP
23 KELLEY, Shawn RHP
43 LEAGUE, Brandon RHP
45 NOESI, Hector RHP
50 RAMIREZ, Erasmo RHP
41 FURBUSH, Charlie LHP
44 LUETGE, Lucas LHP
38 VARGAS, Jason LHP
Catchers (3)
27 JASO, John C
63 MONTERO, Jesus C
30 OLIVO, Miguel C
Infielders (7)
13 ACKLEY, Dustin INF
61 KAWASAKI, Munenori INF
16 LIDDI, Alex INF
26 RYAN, Brendan INF
17 SMOAK, Justin INF
Outfielders (4)
20 CARP, Mike OF
55 SAUNDERS, Michael OF
51 SUZUKI, Ichiro OF
33 WELLS, Casper OF

ITAL – Not eligible for first two games.

Carlos Guillen Announces Retirement

Carlos Guillen, a three-time All Star and veteran of 14 Major League seasons, just announced his retirement from baseball. Guillen was in the Mariners Major League camp as a non-roster invitee, and has been battling a calf injury.

Carlos played 14 seasons in the Majors with Seattle (1998-2003) and Detroit (2004-2011). He finishes his career with a .285 (1331×4673) average with 733 runs, 266 doubles, 51 triples, 124 home runs, 660 RBI in 1,305 Major League games. He has appeared in games at first base (71, 39 starts), second base (84, 82 starts), third base (189, 183 starts), shortstop (856, 817 starts) and left field (48, 48 starts). In a five-season stretch from 2004-2008, Guillen was selected to three All-Star Games (2004, 2007, 2008) and combined to bat .308 (734×2383) with 157 doubles, 30 triples, 75 home runs and 361 RBI.

Guillen made his Major League debut with the Mariners in 1998, and played in 488 total games with Seattle from 1998-2003. He hit .264 (439×1665) with 80 doubles, 16 triples, 29 home runs and 211 RBI in his time with the Mariners. He is possibly best known for his walk-off bunt single in Game #3 of the 2000 American League Division Series vs. the Chicago White Sox. A Mariners moment that will forever go down as one of the best in club history.

We wish the best to Carlos in his future endeavors, and a tip of the cap to a great career.

Carlos Guillen's walk-off bunt single vs. the White Sox in Game #3 of the 2000 ALDS.

Mariners Add Veteran Relievers

The Mariners made a couple of roster moves today, signing free agent relief pitchers Shawn Camp and Hong-Chih Kuo to Major League deals.

You can get all the details and players career statistics via the official news release and in beat writer Greg Johns’ article.

What the Mariners essentially did today was bolster their bullpen with a pair of veteran relievers. Here are a couple of fun statistics on both players…

Shawn Camp:
Much has been made of Camp’s groundball rate as one of the best in baseball and that he is a workhorse, appearing in 196 games over the last 3 seasons (3rd-most among AL relievers). We also offer up this little known nugget about Camp and his dominance against the American League West.

  • Overall last 3 seasons, Camp has gone 1-1 with 1 save and a 2.18 ERA (10 ER, 41.1 IP) in 39 appearances vs. the AL West.
  • Since 2009, has not allowed an earned run against the A’s (10.1 IP) and Angels (13.1 IP).

Mariners RHP Shawn Camp. (Getty Images)

Hong-Chih Kuo:
In 2010 with the Dodgers, Kuo led all Major League relief pitchers in ERA (1.20), opponent batting average (.139) and opponent slugging percentage (.192).

  • Kuo is one of only two pitchers in MLB history to record a season with at least 50.0 innings, and hold opponents to a batting average under .150, a slugging percentage under .200, and maintain an ERA under 1.50.
  • The other pitcher was Eric Gagne in 2003 with the Dodgers (55-for-55 in save opportunities, 1.20 ERA, .133 opp avg, .176 opp SLG).

LHP Hong-Chih Kuo signed with Seattle today. (Getty Images)

– JE

Carlos Guillen Returns to Mariners

The Mariners announced today the signing of Carlos Guillen to a minor league contact with an invite to Major League Spring Training. Mariners fans are very familiar with Guillen, as he made his Major League debut with the club in 1998 and played six seasons in the Emerald City (1998-2003).

Here is the official news release and a story by beat writer Greg Johns.

Guillen has played in parts of 14 Major League seasons with Seattle (1998-2003) and Detroit (2004-2011). He is a career .285 (1331×4673) hitter with 733 runs, 266 doubles, 51 triples, 124, 660 RBI in 1,305 Major League games. In a five-season stretch from 2004-2008, Guillen was selected to three All-Star Games (2004, 2007, 2008) and combined to bat .308 (734×2383) with 157 doubles, 30 triples, 75 home runs and 361 RBI.

General Manager Jack Zduriencik said this morning that there are a number of things to like about inviting Carlos to spring training and giving him every opportunity to make the club. He noted his versatility in the field, potential middle-of-the-lineup presence, clubhouse leadership and his playoff experience.

Carlos Guillen laid down a perfect squeeze bunt for a walk-off win in Game 3 of the 2000 ALDS in a 2-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Oct. 6, 2000.

And here is an inside look into the Baseball Information side of things when we add a player to the roster with as much experience as Guillen. This stat line alone will take up two pages in the media guide!

– JE

Brian Sweeney Signs Minor League Deal

We were just informed that former Mariner (actually a two-time Mariner) Brian Sweeney has signed a minor league contract with the Mariners. He will not be one of the 25 non-roster invites to Major League Spring Training, and will participate in minor league camp when pitchers and catchers report to Peoria, AZ March 3 (the MLB and non-roster invite Pitchers & Catchers report Feb. 11).

As beat writer Greg Johns reported earlier today, Sweeney went 5-5 with a 4.34 ERA in 32 appearances (8 starts) with AAA Buffalo in the New York Mets organization. He participated in Major League Spring Training with the Diamondbacks.

Sweeney came up through the Mariners organization after being signing as a minor league free agent in 1996, and made his Major League debut for Seattle in 2003. In 2010 with the Mariners, he posted a 3.16 ERA (13 ER, 37.0 IP) in 24 relief appearances. He has also played with the San Diego Padres (2004 & 2006) and played three seasons in Japan.

Brian is truly one of the really good guys that has ever worn a Mariners uniform, and we are happy to have him back in the organization.

Brian Sweeney has signed a minor league contract with the Mariners. (Getty)

– JE

Getting to Know Hector Noesi

Now that the dust has settled on the Jesus Montero & Hector Noesi deal, let’s take a moment to get to know Hector a bit, and pronounce his last name — no-eh-SEE.

Noesi made his Major League debut last year at the age of just 24 but he certainly had to wait for his time to come after he was called up. He began the season in the Triple-A before being brought up to New York on April 13. Unfortunately, he was sent back down to the minors on April 22 without ever making an appearance. After he was recalled on May 13, he still had to wait five days before making his MLB debut, but it was worth the wait. Noesi tossed 4.0 shutout innings in a 15-inning affair against the Baltimore Orioles, earning the win in his debut.

Hector Noesi went 2-2 in 30 games with the Yankees last season (Getty Images).

Here’s a fun fact about Noesi’s first game: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Hector became the first Yankee to win his first big league appearance in relief while pitching at least 4.0 scoreless innings, and the first Major Leaguer since Jim Brower for Cleveland on 9/5/99 at Baltimore (4.1IP). He was also the first pitcher to do so in an extra-inning game since Kansas City’s Scott Bankhead on 5/25/86 vs. Chicago (AL)

The Esperanza, Dominican Republic native, will enter camp with a shot to be part of the Mariners starting rotation. As you probably already know, Hector split the 2011 season between the Yankees (mostly) bullpen and AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre where he was 1-1 with a 3.28 ERA (9 ER, 24.2 IP) in six games including five starts. Over the course of his minor league career, he is 25-15 with a 3.17 ERA (133 ER, 377.2 IP) with 365 strikeouts (8.7 K/9.0 IP) in 84 appearances including 64 starts.

Noesi might be new to the Mariners organization, but he’ll already be familiar with some of the players that will be joining him in Peoria.

He’ll of course have catcher Jesus Montero with him when he puts on a Mariners uniform for the first time, but he has also been teammates with a number of other Mariners who will join him in Arizona.

Back in 2010, Noesi was named to the World Team of the 2010 All-Star Futures Game where he teamed up with left-handed pitcher Philippe Valiquette (Canada), infielder Alex Liddi (Italy) and outfielder Carlos Peguero (Dominican Republic) to take on the U.S. Team. All four players will be reunited with the Mariners this spring.

Hector spent this offseason playing at home for the Tigres de Licey in the Dominican Winter League where he was 3-3, 2.70 ERA (14 ER, 46.2 IP) with 27 strikeouts in 10 games, all Hector. While there, he continued to get familiar with some future teammates. Joining him on the Licey team were infielder Carlos Triunfel, outfielder Mike Wilson and Peguero.

While Noesi certainly pitched well this winter, he also had other commitments to attend to. According to this report out of the Dominican, Hector used an off-day in the schedule to plan a wedding. You heard that right! With the help of a friend, he purchased a wedding ring, a wedding dress and shoes, all to surprise his future bride with a well-kept secret.

On November 4, 2011, Noesi tossed 5.0 innings while allowing just one unearned run. This might be the only time that he was happy to be lifted from a game and he quickly left the stadium. After his soon-to-be bride, Yeldi, was informed that they were on their way to an activity that they were both invited to, off they went. When they arrived, the surprise of a lifetime came together. Hector and Yeldi were married in front of family and friends.

At some point during the wedding, Noesi was informed that his Tigres had won the game and he was credited with the win.

Not every day that a pitcher gets two wins in one day.

– FA

Mariners Sign Veteran RHP Kevin Millwood

The Mariners have officially signed right-handed pitcher Kevin Millwood to a minor league contract with an invite to Major League Spring Training. Here is the official news release with a quote from Jack Zduriencik:

SEATTLE, Wash. (Jan. 24, 2012) — Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik announced today the club has signed veteran right-handed pitcher Kevin Millwood to a minor league contract with an invite to Major League Spring Training.

Millwood, 37, is a veteran of 15 Major League seasons with the Atlanta Braves (1997-2002), Philadelphia Phillies (2003-04), Cleveland Indians (2005), Texas Rangers (2006-09), Baltimore Orioles (2010) and Colorado Rockies (2011). He has compiled a career record of 163-140 with a 4.10 ERA in 423 appearances (415 starts). Amongst active pitchers, Millwood ranks 5th in innings pitched (2,559.1), strikeouts (1,976) and games started (415), 9th in wins (163) and T12th in complete games (21). He also has a no-hitter to his credit on April 27, 2003 against San Francisco when he was with the Philadelphia.

“Kevin brings a great deal of experience as a veteran pitcher and will compete for a spot in our starting rotation,” said Zduriencik. “His leadership and experience will be a benefit for our young pitchers and we look forward to seeing him in spring training.”

Millwood spent one season with Mariners manager Eric Wedge and pitching coach Carl Willis with Cleveland in 2005, and won the American League ERA title with a 2.86 mark (61 ER, 192.0 IP).

He split last season between the New York (AL), Boston and Colorado organizations. He made 9 starts with the Rockies from Aug. 10-end of the season, going 4-3 with a 3.98 ERA (24 ER, 54.1 IP). He also pitched for AA Trenton (1-0, 0.00) and AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre (1-1, 8.00) in the Yankees organization and AAA Pawtucket (5-1, 4.28) in the Red Sox organization.

The Mariners have now signed 16 players to minor league contracts with invites to Major League Spring Training. Pitchers and catchers will report to Peoria, AZ for physicals on Feb. 11 (first workout 2/12) and position players are scheduled to report on Feb. 17 (first full-squad workout 2/18).

Kevin Millwood won the 2005 AL ERA title with the Cleveland Indians (Getty Images).

– JE

Meet Jesus Montero

We just got done with the conference call with Jesus Montero and Jack Zduriencik, and we will post some quotes from that shortly here at the blog.

We just got a chance to meet Jesus, and he is a very impressive young man. He is very excited about being a Seattle Mariner and can’t wait to get to Spring Training.

And here is the first photo of Jesus Montero at Safeco Field.

Jesus Montero gets familiar with Safeco Field.

I also had a chance to catch up with Jesus and ask him a few questions:

5 Questions with Jesus Montero:

1. What is your favorite movie? The Terminator

2. Who is your baseball idol? Sammy Sosa

3. What is your favorite kind of music? Salsa

4. How would you like to be known as a player? The complete player who can catch and hit (and with a smile he said for power!)

5. What is your dream car? Lamborghini (he loves the sport of drag racing, but does not participate — too fast he says)

– JE

Mariners Complete Trade With Yankees

The Mariners officially completed the 4-player trade with the New York Yankees, acquiring C/DH Jesus Montero and RHP Hector Noesi in exchange for RHP Michael Pineda and minor league RHP Jose Campos.

Montero and Mariners General Manager Jack Zduriencik will be on a conference call at 2:30 p.m. PT today, and we’ll pass along some quotes from that and hopefully get a chance to ask Jesus some questions to share on the blog.

And here is how Jesus will look in a Mariners uniform (use photoshop of course).

Jesus Montero as a Mariner!

Here is the official news release sent out to the media today and the first of what I am sure will be many stories by beat writer Greg Johns:

Mariners send RHP Michael Pineda and RHP Jose Campos to New York.

SEATTLE, Wash. — Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager Jack Zduriencik announced today that the club has acquired catcher Jesus Montero and right-handed pitcher Hector Noesi from the New York Yankees in exchange for right-handed pitcher Michael Pineda and minor league right-handed pitcher Jose Campos.

“With this trade we feel we have acquired a premium offensive talent that has the potential to hit in the middle of our lineup and grow with our other young players,” said Zduriencik. “It is also beneficial that we were able to acquire a Major League- ready pitcher with six years of control and who will compete for a spot in our rotation.

“It was very difficult to part ways with Michael (Pineda) as we are extremely proud of what he has been able to accomplish in our organization. He is a special young man and we wish him the best of luck with the Yankees.

“Through our evaluations, we’ve identified the strength of our organization to be pitching depth, and this helped in our decision to acquire what we consider a premium bat and a potential starting pitcher for the 2012 season and beyond. This trade is also a testament to the job that Bob Engle (Vice President, International Operations) and Tom McNamara (Director of Amateur Scouting) and their staffs have done through scouting and signing of players. ”

Montero, 22, has been ranked by Baseball America as the Yankees top prospect in each of the last three years (2010-12) and the 3rd-best prospect in all of baseball (top catcher) entering the 2011 season. He was also tabbed by the publication as the Yankees “Best Hitter for Average” and “Best Power Hitter”. He was recently selected as the top catching prospect by

Montero made his Major League debut as a September call-up and hit .328 (20×61) with 9 runs, 4 doubles, 4 home runs, 12 RBI with a .406 on-base percentage and a .590 slugging percentage in 18 games. His September performance earned him a spot on the Yankees Division Series playoff roster where he went 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI in his only two at-bats against Detroit. Last season in 109 games with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Montero hit .288 (121×420) with 52 runs, 19 doubles, 1 triple, 18 home runs and 67 RBI.

Montero has combined to bat .308 (570×1852) during his rapid rise through the Yankees minor league system. He was selected to play in the 2008 (Yankee Stadium) and 2009 (Busch Stadium) Futures Game. In 2010 he combined to bat .289 (131×453) with 34 doubles, 3 triples, 21 home runs and 75 RBI with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Guacara, Venezuela native was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on Oct. 17, 2006.

Noesi, 24 (turns 25 on Jan. 26), split the 2011 season between the Yankees and AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In 30 games, including two starts with the Yankees, he was 2-2, 4.47 ERA (28 ER, 56.1 IP) with 45 strikeouts. With Scranton/Wilkes-Barre he was 1-1, 3.28 ERA (9 ER, 24.2 IP) with 17 strikeouts in 6 games, 5 starts. He was rated by Baseball America as the Yankees 7th-best prospect heading into the 2011 season as was also tabbed by the publication as having the “Best Control” in their system (he was not eligible to be included in their 2012 rankings due to having pitched more than 50.0 innings in the Major Leagues last season).

Noesi has combined to go 30-18 with a 2.98 ERA (142 ER, 428.1 IP) with 401 strikeouts in 97 games, 74 starts in the Yankees minor league system. In 2010 he combined to go 14-7, 3.20 ERA (57 ER, 160.1 IP) with 153 strikeouts in 28 games, 27 starts between High-A Tampa, AA Trenton and AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre and was selected to the World Team roster for the 2010 All-Star Futures Game at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. The Esperanza, Dominican Republic native was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on Dec. 3, 2004.

Pineda, 23, spent the entire 2011 season with the Mariners, going 9-10, 3.74 ERA (71 ER, 171.0 IP) with 173 strikeouts in 28 appearances, all starts. In his career in the minors he was 31-14, 2.49 ERA (112 ER, 404.1 IP) with 396 strikeouts. He was originally signed by the Mariners as a non-drafted free agent on Dec. 12, 2005.

Campos, 19, was 5-5, 2.32 ERA (21 ER, 81.1 IP) with 85 strikeouts in 14 appearances, all starts with short-season Everett. In three seasons in the Mariners system, he is a combined 14-10, 3.26 ERA (62 ER, 171.1 IP) with 167 strikeouts in 40 games, including 30 starts. He was originally signed by the Mariners as a non-drafted free agent on Jan. 15, 2009.

With these roster moves, the Mariners 40-man roster is now full at 40.

– JE

Mariners Sign Oliver Perez to Minor League Contract

With the Mariners signing of LHP Oliver Perez to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, the club has added another experienced arm to compete in Peoria for a spot on the Mariners roster. Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik said he expects Perez to compete for a spot in the bullpen during spring training.

Although he is just 30 years old, Perez already has nine big league seasons under his belt after making his Major League debut at the age of 20 with the San Diego Padres in 2002.

Oliver Perez signed a minor league contract with the Mariners and will participate in Major League Spring Training (Getty Images)

Perez most recently had a successful stint in the Mexican Winter League where he struck out 19 in 14.1 relief innings with a 0.63 ERA. He spent the entire 2011 season with AA Harrisburg in the Nationals organization after logging Major League service time in each of his previous nine seasons (2002-2010).

Oliver Perez has averaged 9.12 K/9.0 IP during his Major League career (Getty Images).

Oliver has logged 1,111.2 innings in his Major League career and has struck out 1,126 batters (9.12 K/9), making him just one of eight pitchers in Major League history who have struck out more than a batter per inning (with a minimum of at least 1,000 innings pitched).

Not a bad list:

Rk Player SO/9 IP SO From To Teams
1 Randy Johnson 10.61 4135.1 4875 1988 2009 MON-SEA-ARI-NYY-SFG
2 Kerry Wood 10.34 1371.1 1576 1998 2011 CHC-CLE
3 Pedro Martinez 10.04 2827.1 3154 1992 2009 LAD-MON-BOS-NYM-PHI
4 Tim Lincecum 9.87 1028.0 1127 2007 2011 SFG
5 Nolan Ryan 9.55 5386.0 5714 1966 1993 NYM-CAL-HOU-TEX
6 Trevor Hoffman 9.36 1089.1 1133 1993 2010 SDP-MIL
7 Sandy Koufax 9.28 2324.1 2396 1955 1966 BRO-LAD
8 Oliver Perez 9.12 1111.2 1126 2002 2010 SDP-PIT-NYM

A big thank you to the invaluable Play Index tool at