M’s Sign Potential Rainiers Reliever

The Mariners announced their list of non-roster spring training invitees late on Friday. This is of note for the Rainiers, as it is usually with this announcement that we learn of any minor league free agents that the team has signed.

This year, the list is almost all prospects who are not yet required to be protected on the 40-man roster. Then there are the two veterans signed to minor league deals that we already know about: first baseman Mike Jacobs and pitcher Jeremy Bonderman.

There was one surprise on the list: relief pitcher Jhonny Nunez was signed as a minor league free agent, and we can add him to the list of potential Rainiers.

Nunez is a 27-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic. He pitched in seven major league games with the White Sox in 2009, and has spent the last three seasons in the Triple-A International League, with Charlotte and Durham.

Last year with Durham, Nunez appeared in 22 games (three starts) and went 2-2 with a 6.57 ERA. He pitched only 37 innings, giving up 45 hits including eight home runs. He walked 26 and struck out 29.

Obviously, that is not a very strong season statistically. He was released by the Durham Bulls shortly after the all-star break.

It certainly appears that Nunez will have to look impressive in spring training in order to make the Rainiers roster.


  • From Larry Stone at the Seattle Times, here is the complete list of non-roster invitees to major league spring training.
  • Clint Hulsey has a thorough report on new (possible) Rainiers reliever Jhonny Nunez. I’ve had a personal contact tell me that Nunez, when healthy and at full strength, tops out at 92 miler per hour.
  • No surprise here: former Rainiers outfielder Michael Saunders is going to play for Canada in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
  • Baseball America reports that the Mariners have signed a teenage Dominican outfielder with the wonderful name of Luis Liberato.

Tough one for the Seahawks yesterday. The good news is that they are a very young team and this should be just the beginning for them.


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