Robertson outrighted to AAA Tacoma

Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto today announced the following roster moves:

Dan Robertson (OF) outrighted to AAA Tacoma.
Rob Rasmussen (LHP) claimed off waivers by Los Angeles (AL).

After today’s transactions, the Mariners 40-man roster remains at 40 players.

Robertson, 30, was designated for assignment on Dec. 18 to make room on the roster for Hisashi Iwakuma. He was claimed off waivers on Nov. 6 after spending last season in the Angels organization, including two stints in the Majors where he hit .280 (21×75) with 10 runs, 2 doubles and 7 RBI in 37 games while playing in left field (27 G, 11 GS), center field (7 G, 4 GS) and right field (1 G). He began the season with AAA Salt Lake where he hit .265 (65×245) with 27 runs, 16 doubles, 1 home run and 20 RBI in 60 games. Also appeared in two games with the AZL Angels.

In parts of two Major League seasons with the Angels (2015) and Rangers (2014), he has combined to hit .274 (69×252) with 33 runs, 11 doubles, 1 triple and 28 RBI in 107 games. In eight minor league seasons in the Padres, Rangers and Angels organizations, he has hit .299 (892×2979) with 529 runs, 165 doubles, 34 triples, 27 home runs, 334 RBI and a .377 on-base percentage in 793 games. He was originally drafted by San Diego in the 33rd round of the 2008 June Amateur Draft out of Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR).

Rasmussen, 26, was designated for assignment on Dec. 14 to make room on the roster for Steve Cishek. He was acquired by Seattle from Toronto on July 31, 2015, as part of a four-player deal. He was 2-1 with a 10.67 ERA (14.1 IP, 17 ER) in 19 games with the Mariners last season. He also appeared in 1 game in 2015 with the Jays (1.0 IP, 1 SO). In parts of two MLB seasons (2014-15), he has a career mark of 2-1, 7.09 (26.2 IP, 21 ER) in 30 games.

 

Mariners promote three, hire six new area scouts

Seattle Mariners Director of Amateur Scouting Tom McNamara today announced that the Mariners have promoted Ben Collman, Chris Pelekoudas and Mike Moriarty from their positions as Area Scouts to new supervisory positions.

Collman, who is based in Texas, was promoted from a Midwest area scout to Midwest Supervisor. Collman was originally hired by Seattle in October of 2012. Prior to joining the Mariners, Collman was the scouting coordinator for Perfect Game USA.

Pelekoudas, who is based in Arizona, was promoted from a West area scout to West Coast Supervisor. Pelekoudas, who was originally hired by Seattle in December of 2003, was the Mariners 2008 Professional Scout of the Year. He is the namesake and grandson of longtime (1960-75) National League umpire Chris Pelekoudas, and the son of Lee Pelekoudas, who spent 30 years in the Mariners front office.

Moriarty, who is based in New Jersey, was promoted from a Northeast area scout to Northeast Supervisor. Moriarty had an 11-season professional career, including appearing in the Majors with Baltimore in 2002, prior to his coaching and scouting career. He joined the Mariners scouting department in 2009.

The Mariners have also hired six new Area Scouts: Tyrus Bowman, Amanda Hopkins, Jackson Laumann, Taylor Terrasas, Stephen Tromblee and Ross Vecchio.

Bowman will be the new Area Scout in Oklahoma, Arkansas & Kansas. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in 2010, and his JD from the Univ. of Arizona College of Law in May, 2015. Tyrus spent the past three seasons as a baseball operations/video intern covering minor league teams for the San Diego Padres. Tyrus, who is fluent in Spanish, also spent time at the Padres Dominican facility.

Hopkins will be the new Area Scout in Arizona, Utah, New Mexico & Colorado (the Four Corners area). Hopkins, who worked the past three seasons as an intern in the Mariners amateur scouting department, graduated from Central Washington University in June, 2015. Hopkins, who is believed to be the first woman hired as a fulltime scout since the 1950s, is the daughter of Ron Hopkins, a longtime MLB scout with over 30 years of experience, including working for Seattle in 1988. Among his other stops, he was the Director of Scouting for Texas and Oakland. Amanda is a recent graduate of the Major League Baseball developmental program.

Laumann will be the new Area Scout in Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan & Indiana. Jackson was drafted by the Atlanta Braves out of high school and spent three seasons (2012-14) in their minor league system. Laumann is a recent graduate of the Major League Baseball developmental program. He is the son of Doug Laumann, the former scouting director (and current special assistant to the GM) of the Chicago White Sox.

Terrasas, will be the new Area Scout in North Texas & Louisiana. He played in the Cincinnati and Miami minor league systems in 2013-2014. He is a 2013 graduate of Louisiana Tech University. Taylor is the son of Rudy Terrasas, the former Scouting Director of the New York Mets. Taylor is a 2014 graduate of the Major League Baseball developmental program.

Tromblee, will be the new Area Scout in South Texas. He played in the Los Angeles Angels minor league system from 2011-2014. He is a 2011 graduate of Lamar University in Beaumont, TX. He was working as a teacher and coach in Columbus, TX, prior to joining the Mariners. Tromblee is a recent graduate of the Major League Baseball developmental program.

Vecchio, will be the new Area Scout in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware & West Virginia. Vecchio has worked with Seattle as a part-time scout since 2009, while concurrently serving as the Director of Athletic Development for California University of Pennsylvania. Ross also spent 17 seasons as a minor league general manager for a variety of teams. He was a two-time Executive of the Year.

 

Mariners re-sign Hisashi Iwakuma

Hisashi Iwakuma after his no-hitter.

Hisashi Iwakuma after his no-hitter.

Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced tonight the Mariners have re-signed right-handed pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma to a 2016 contract with vesting options for 2017 and 2018.

“We said from the start that Kuma was a priority for us,” Dipoto said. “Obviously, the developments from the last few days allowed us to get back in the game. It’s a credit to our ownership; to Howard Lincoln, to Kevin Mather, to our entire ownership group that we were able to get aggressive and find a way to bring Kuma back to the Mariners. We’re all thrilled. This is a big move for us. We feel like this really puts a finishing touch on what we think has been a very productive off-season.”

Iwakuma, 34, was 9-5 with a 3.54 ERA (51 ER, 129.2 IP) with 111 strikeouts in 20 starts with Seattle last season, including 4-2 with a 2.17 ERA (11 ER, 45.2 IP) with 43 strikeouts in his final seven starts. Seattle won 11 of his final 16 starts of the season when he was 9-4 with a 2.82 ERA (34 ER, 108.1 IP) with 97 strikeouts.

On Aug. 12 vs. Baltimore, the right-hander threw the 5th no-hitter in Mariners history (4th by a single pitcher) and became the 2nd Japanese-born pitcher with a Major League no-hitter (Hideo Nomo, twice).

In four seasons with Seattle, Iwakuma has combined to go 47-25 with a 3.17 ERA (230 ER, 653.2 IP) with 551 strikeouts in 111 games, including 97 starts. Since joining the Mariners rotation on July 2, 2012, his 3.09 ERA (214 ER, 623.1 IP) as a starter is the 4th-best in the American League (min. 600.0 IP) and 9th-best in the Majors; he ranks behind just Felix Hernandez (2.89), David Price (2.89) and Chris Sale (3.05) in the A.L. In 2013, he was an American League All-Star and was named the Mariners MVP Pitcher by the Seattle Chapter of the BBWAA.

Prior to joining the Mariners in 2012, Iwakuma compiled a 107-69 record in 226 career games with Kintetsu (2001-04) and Rakuten (2005-2011) in the Japan League. He was named the 2008 Pacific League MVP and winner of the Eiji Sawamura Award (Cy Young equivalent) after going 21-4 with a 1.87 ERA (42 ER, 201.2 IP) in 28 starts.

The right-hander was a two-time selection for the Best Nine Award (2004, 2008) and was a two-time NPB All-Star (2004, 2008). Iwakuma also starred for Japan in the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics (Bronze Medal) and the 2009 World Baseball Classic (Gold Medal).

 

Mariners Sign Five to Minor League Deals

030515_002 BVH

Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto today announced that the Mariners have signed the following players to minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training.

  • Mike Baxter, OF
  • Casey Coleman, RHP
  • Ed Lucas, INF
  • Brad Mills, LHP
  • Blake Parker, RHP

These obviously won’t be the only invites to Spring Training, but it’s a start. The remainder of the list will begin to trickle out in the coming weeks and we hope to have a full list out in January.

With that said, here are a few tidbits about the five that were signed this week.

Baxter, 31, spent last year in the Chicago Cubs organization, splitting time with AAA Iowa and the Chicago Cubs. In 34 games in the Majors, he hit .246 (14×57) with 6 runs, 1 double and 2 RBI. With Iowa, he hit .279 (62×222) with 31 runs, 9 doubles, 3 triples, 1 home run, 20 RBI and a .390 on-base percentage in 74 games. In parts of six Major League seasons with San Diego, New York (NL), Los Angeles (NL) and Chicago (NL), he has hit .228 (95×417) with 52 runs, 23 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs and 28 RBI in 232 games. During his minor league career, he has hit .280 (978×3494) with 528 runs, 208 doubles, 53 triples, 63 home runs, 423 RBI and a .355 on-base percentage. He was originally drafted by San Diego in the 4th round of the 2005 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN).

Coleman, 28, spent last season with AAA Omaha in the Kansas City Royals organization where he was 5-4 with a 4.92 ERA (45 ER, 82.1 IP) with 54 strikeouts in 33 games including 6 starts. In parts of four Major League seasons with Chicago-NL (2010-12) and Kansas City (2014), he is 8-13 with a 5.72 ERA (113 ER, 177.2 IP) with 123 strikeouts in 58 games including 26 starts. In eight minor league seasons, he has combined to go 50-30 with a 3.73 ERA (287 ER, 692.0 IP) with 467 strikeouts in 194 games including 90 starts. He was originally drafted by Chicago (NL) in the 15th round of the 2008 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Florida Gulf Coast University (Fort Myers, FL).

Lucas, 33, spent last season with AAA Round Rock in the Texas Rangers organization where he hit .316 (124×393) with 43 runs, 17 doubles, 3 triples, 6 home runs, 48 RBI and a .389 on-base percentage in 107 games. In two Major League seasons, both with Miami (2013-14), he has combined to hit .255 (135×530) with 62 runs, 19 doubles, 1 triple, 5 home runs and 37 RBI in 163 games. In 12 minor league seasons in the Kansas City, Atlanta, Los Angeles (AL), Miami and Texas organizations, he has hit .282 (1058×3747) with 538 runs, 177 doubles, 24 triples, 72 home runs, 471 RBI and a .355 on-base percentage in 1,049 games. He was originally drafted by Kansas City in the 8th round of the 2004 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH).

Mills, 30, spent last season in the Oakland organization. He spent most of the season with AAA Nashville where he went 5-12 with a 4.52 ERA (69 ER, 137.1 IP) with 95 strikeouts in 24 starts. He made one appearance, a start, with Oakland. In parts of six Major League seasons with Toronto (2009-11, 2014), Los Angeles-AL (2012) & Oakland (2014, 2015), he is 4-4 with a 7.97 ERA (70 ER, 79.0 IP) with 71 strikeouts in 21 games including 14 starts. In nine minor league seasons, he is 59-58 with a 3.82 ERA (412 ER, 970.2 IP) with 826 strikeouts in 174 games including 165 starts. He was originally drafted by Toronto in the 4th round of the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ).

Parker, 30, appeared in only three games with AAA Iowa before having surgery to remove loose bodies in his right elbow on June 16th.  In parts of three Major League seasons with the Chicago Cubs, he is 2-3 with a 3.68 ERA (30 ER, 73.1 IP) with 85 strikeouts in 74 games, all in relief. In 2013, he posted a 2.72 ERA (14 ER, 46.1 IP) with 55 strikeouts in 49 relief appearances with the Cubs. In nine minor league seasons in the Cubs organization, he is 14-18 with a 2.86 ERA (122 ER, 383.1 IP) with 424 strikeouts in 295 relief appearances. He was originally drafted by Chicago (NL) in the 16th round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, AR).

Mariners Claim RHP A.J. Schugel off Waivers

Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto today announced that the Mariners have claimed right-handed pitcher A.J. Schugel off waivers from Arizona. To make room on the 40-man roster, left-handed pitcher Tyler Olson has been designated for assignment.

Schugel, 26, made his Major League debut with Arizona last year, posting a 5.00 ERA (5 ER, 9.0 IP) with 5 strikeouts in 5 relief appearances during two stints in Majors. In minors, he split the season between AA Mobile & AAA Reno, combining to go 9-9 with a 4.84 ERA (62 ER, 115.1 IP) with 79 strikeouts in 21 starts. In the minors he began the season with Reno, posting a 12.66 ERA (30 ER, 21.1 IP) in five games before moving to Mobile where he was 7-2 with a 2.21 ERA (19 ER, 77.1 IP). He was promoted to Reno and made four appearances before being recalled to Arizona on Aug. 30.

In six minor league seasons in the Angels and Diamondbacks organization, he is 32-34 with a 4.04 ERA (281 ER, 625.1 IP) with 497 strikeouts in 139 games including 109 starts. He was originally drafted by the Angels in the 25th round of the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Central Arizona College (Coolidge, AZ).

Olson, 26, began last season in the Majors with Seattle, appearing in 11 games as a reliever and going 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA (8 ER, 13.1 IP) before being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right knee contusion. With AAA Tacoma he was 3-5 with a 4.47 ERA (27 ER, 54.1 IP) in 25 games including 6 starts with the Rainiers. In three minor league seasons in the Mariners organization, he was 17-17 with a 3.86 ERA (110 ER, 256.2 IP) in 70 games including 41 starts. He was originally drafted by the Mariners in the 7th round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

After today’s transactions, the Mariners 40-man roster remains full

Mariners Offseason and Spring Training Programming

710

If you can’t wait for the baseball season to get started, you’re not alone. With that in mind, our radio (710 ESPN Seattle) and television (ROOT Sports) partners have confirmed their programming plans for the Mariners offseason as well as Spring Training.

Here’s a handy list so you don’t miss a minute of the action.

HOT STOVE SHOW ON 710 ESPN SEATTLE (all live)

Hot Stove

CACTUS LEAGUE REPORT ON 710 ESPN SEATTLE (all live)

Cactus League Report

MARINERS MONDAYS

Root_sports_logo

Beginning January 4, ROOT SPORTS NW will carry “Mariners Mondays” from 7:00-10:00 pm. Each show will feature 2-3 of the best Mariners games from the 2015 season. A total of 12 shows through March 21.

Mariners Add Free Agent Steve Cishek to Bullpen

1024x512_Cishek

Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto today announced that the Mariners have signed right-handed pitcher Steve Cishek (SEE-shek) to a two-year contract.

“Steve gives us a proven bullpen presence with significant experience closing games,” said Dipoto. He’s a character guy who adds a new angle and fresh look to our pen.”

Cishek, 29, split last season with the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals where he combined to go 2-6 with a 3.58 ERA (22 ER, 55.1 IP) with 48 strikeouts in 59 relief appearances. Over his final 40 relief appearances, he posted a 1.75 ERA (7 ER, 36.0 IP) with 31 strikeouts. In his final 27 appearances of the season following a trade to the Cardinals, he posted a 2.31 ERA (6 ER, 23.1 IP) with 20 strikeouts.

Over the last five seasons (since 2011), his 2.86 ERA (98 ER, 308.2 IP) in 308 games is the 10th-best by a reliever in the National League. The right-hander posted consecutive 30-save seasons in 2013 (34) and 2014 (39) and his 73 saves over that two-year span ranked 4th in the National League and 8th in the Majors.

In parts of six seasons in the Majors, he is 17-20 with 95 saves and a 2.82 ERA (98 ER, 313.0 IP) in 311 games with Miami (2010-15) and St. Louis (2015). Cishek was originally drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 5th round of the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, TN.

To make room on the Major League, 40-man roster, left-handed pitcher Rob Rassmussen was designated for assignment. Seattle now has 10 days to trade, release or outright Rasmussen’s contract to the minors.

Rasmussen, 26, was acquired by Seattle from Toronto on July 31, 2015, as part of a four-player deal. He was 2-1 with a 10.67 ERA (14.1 IP, 17 ER) in 19 games with the Mariners last season. He also appeared in 1 game in 2015 with the Jays (1.0 IP, 1 SO). In parts of two MLB seasons (2014-15), he has a career mark of 2-1, 7.09 (26.2 IP, 21 ER) in 30 games.

With today’s transactions, the Mariners 40-man roster remains at 40

The Hot Stove – Live From The Southcenter Mariners Team Store

Hot Stove

Now that the Winter Meetings are over, we can look back at the week that was (trades, signings and other news) as well as talk about what is in store for the club in the coming weeks and months.

With that in mind, The Hot Stove show debuts tonight with a live remote broadcast from the Southcenter Mariners Team Store.

Mariners broadcasters Rick Rizzs, Mike Blowers & Shannon Drayer will co-host the event and will be joined live by Mariners General Manager Jerry Dipoto from 7 to 8 pm. Mariners Manager Scott Servais and FOX Sports’ Rob Neyer will join by phone during the second hour of the show.

Be sure to tune in on the radio on 710 ESPN Seattle, online at MyNorthwest.com or stop by the team store to watch and listen in person.

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Mariners Acquire Ryne Harper from Atlanta as PTBNL

Ryne Harper

Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto today announced that the Mariners have acquired right-handed pitcher Ryne Harper from Atlanta as the Player to be Named Later in the Mariners Dec. 4 trade of RHP Jose Ramirez to the Braves.

Harper, 26, was 0-1 with a 1.87 ERA in 23 games with AA Mississippi in the Atlanta Braves system. He struck out 40 batters in 33.2 innings pitched while walking only 11. He also appeared in 1 game with the high-A Rome Braves.

Ryne is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound reliever. He’s made 172 appearances in his minor league career, all in relief. Overall, since debuting in 2011, Harper is 20-12 with a 2.16 ERA with 20 career saves. He’s struck out 317 batters, while walking only 79, in 267.0 career innings. He’s struck out 10.7 batters per 9.0 innings pitched, while walking just 2.7 per 9.0 IP.

Harper was originally drafted by the Braves in the 37th round of the 2011 June Draft out of Austin Peay State University.

Harper will be assigned to the AAA Tacoma roster. With today’s transaction the Mariners 40-man roster remains unchanged at 40 players.

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Baseball Winter Meetings – Day 4

Jerry Dipoto recaps the Winter Meetings with Seattle's travelling media.

Jerry Dipoto recaps the Winter Meetings with Seattle’s travelling media.

Come in with a plan; Execute your plan:
The Mariners were one of the most active teams at the meeting, but were also one of the most efficient. Jerry Dipoto and the baseball operations staff had been working since his arrival in September on a plan to remake the Mariners roster. Since the season ended, they have executed on that plan, including here at the meetings. Here’s a look at the Mariners Nashville transactions:
Monday, December 7th
• Acquired LHP Wade Miley RHP Jonathan Aro from Boston Red Sox in exchange for LHP Roenis Elias and RHP Carson Smith.

Tuesday, December 8th
• Acquired RHP Evan Scribner from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for RHP Trey Cochran-Gill.

Wednesday, December 9th
• Acquired 1B Adam Lind from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for RHP Carlos Herrera, RHP Daniel Missaki and RHP Freddy Peralta. Designated 1B Andy Wilkins for assignment.

Thursday, December 10th
• Selected RHP Isaac Sanchez from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Triple-A portion of the Major League Rule 5 Draft.
• OF Jabari Blash selected by the Oakland Athletics (6th overall) in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft.
• LHP Brian Moran (Cleveland), RHP Logan Bawcom (Los Angeles-NL) and OF Julio Morban (Los Angeles-NL) selected from Seattle in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft.

Rule 5:
In the Rule 5 Draft today, a total of 65 players were selected, including 48 in the Triple-A phase of the Draft.
The Mariners selected right-handed pitcher Isaac Sanchez from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Triple-A portion of the Major League Rule 5 Draft.
Sanchez, 23 went 2-3 with 3 saves and a 2.71 ERA (20 ER, 66.1 IP) in 42 relief appearances with Single-A Bradenton in the Florida State League in 2015. The 6-foot-0, 190-pound right-handed reliever limited opponents to a .242 (60×248) average, while striking out 51 and walking 24 in 66.1 innings. He was on the 7-day disabled list with a right ankle sprain, July 30-Aug. 8, and appeared in one game on a rehab assignment with the GCL Pirates.

Sanchez was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Pittsburgh on June 18, 2010. Over parts of 6 seasons in the minor leagues, he is 14-11 with 11 saves and a 3.66 ERA (102 ER, 250.2 IP) in 139 games, 14 starts.

The Oakland Athletics selected outfielder Jabari Blash off the Mariners Triple-A Tacoma roster with the 6th selection in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft. He hit .271 (110×406) with 79 runs scored, 24 doubles, 2 triples, 32 home runs and 81 RBI in 116 games combined between Triple-A Tacoma and Double-A Jackson. The A’s traded Blash to the San Diego Padres minutes after making the selection.

Players chosen in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft must remain in the Major Leagues for the entire 2016 season. If the ML team wishes to option a player back to the minors, the club must first expose him to waivers for every other MLB team, then offer him back to his original team for $25,000 (half of the $50,000 claiming fee). A total of 16 players were selected in the Major League portion of the 2015 Rule 5 Draft.

Three players (LHP Brian Moran, RHP Logan Bawcom & OF Julio Morban) were selected from the Mariners system in the minor league portion of the draft.

Standing room only crowd at the Rule 5 Draft.

Standing room only crowd at the Rule 5 Draft.

Airport Day:
After four days of the entire baseball world converging on Nashville, and the Opryland Hotel, today was check-out day. The Rule 5 Draft (see below) started at 9 AM this morning and as soon as it was completed, the lobby filled up with Major League staff and minor league organizations streaming out of the building. By lunchtime, the hotel was pleasantly quiet, a distinct change after the crowds of the previous days. The Seattle contingent was travelling back on a late afternoon flight, so the Mariners were one of the final organizations in the building.

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