The Mariners quietly made a move to help the Tacoma outfield, signing minor league free agent Cole Gillespie to a deal that presumably includes a major league spring training invitation.
Gillespie is no stranger to PCL fans. He’s spent the majority of the last five years playing in the PCL, appearing in 523 Triple-A games with a career .290 average, and .386 OBP.
He played for Nashville in 2009, and was moved to Reno mid-season that year. Gillespie hit over .300 for Reno in 2011 and 2012 (winning a PCL title), and he finished second in the league with 16 triples in 2011.
Last year Gillespie opened the season with Fresno, was called up by San Francisco, and then claimed off waivers by the Cubs. He played in 28 major league games last year between the two teams.
Gillespie will probably open 2013 in the Tacoma outfield, although you never know – the Mariners major league outfield still has some question marks.
I’m guessing that the 29-year-old Gillespie was probably pretty happy to sign with the Mariners – not only due to the possibilities with the major league outfield in flux. One figures that Gillespie may have grown up an M’s fan: he’s from West Linn, Oregon and played three years at Oregon State University.
In another move that figures to involve the Rainiers, the Mariners have reportedly agreed to sign Franklin Gutierrez to a cheap, one-year, incentive-laden contract.
The oft-injured outfielder has had five rehab appearances in Tacoma over the last three seasons, including a believed-to-be-PCL-record three rehabs in 2013 alone. The guy played in 47 games for the Rainiers last year, without ever counting against the roster!
Hopefully he’ll stay healthy in 2014, but let’s be honest: Guti will probably roam the pasture at Cheney Stadium some time this season.
The Mariners drew some media attention with one other minor league move yesterday, signing outfielder Burt Reynolds to a contract. Reynolds is a cousin of Robinson Cano – that, plus his famous name, caused the media attention.
Reynolds played in the independent Atlantic League last year, hitting .247 with six homers for Camden. Just from looking at the stats, Reynolds appears to be more of a Double-A player for 2014.
- We learned about Cole Gillespie’s signing from this week’s installment of Baseball America’s minor league transactions.
- Ryan Divish has a round-up of the news of the day.
- Former Rainiers slugger Raul Ibanez inked a deal with the Los Angeles Angels today.
- There is a detailed Fangraphs Q&A with former Rainiers pitcher Matt Thornton.
- It appears that the New York Yankees might replace Robinson Cano with 2013 PCL MVP candidate Dean Anna.