Veteran Moves

The Mariners made an announcement yesterday clarifying which major league veterans are going to be with the Rainiers on opening day.

Seattle signed a handful of big league veterans to minor league contracts prior to spring training, for the purpose of taking a look at them and seeing if they could help the club.

Because these players have so much big league experience, they are granted contract rights not afforded to younger players. They are usually able to negotiate “outs” in their contract, giving them the opportunity to become free agents at the end of spring training (or some other predetermined date) if they do not make the major league team.

The players this year were Endy Chavez, Franklin Gutierrez, Joe Saunders, and Kevin Correia.

Yesterday the Mariners announced that Chavez and Correia elected to become free agents, while Gutierrez and Saunders restructured their contracts and agreed to play in Triple-A.

So we are now confident that Guti and Saunders will be Rainiers when the season starts next Thursday.

Yesterday the Mariners traded former Rainiers pitcher Erasmo Ramirez to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Triple-A left-hander Mike Montgomery.

Ramirez is out of minor league options, so once it became clear that he wasn’t going to make the Mariners opening day roster, the club worked quickly to move him. Ramirez now hopes to make Tampa’s big league club.

Ramirez pitched for Tacoma for parts of four seasons, from 2011 to 2014. He made 43 career starts for the Rainiers, going 18-13 with a 3.82 ERA.

Erasmo was fun to have on the team – he always has a smile on his face; we wish him the best with his new club.

As for the new guy, we can anticipate having Montgomery on the Rainiers pitching staff.

Montgomery was once considered the Kansas City Royals top prospect, dominating the lower levels of the minor leagues. But when he reached Triple-A Omaha in 2011, things started to fall apart. He had two rough seasons with Omaha, was traded to Tampa in the big James Shields/Wil Myers deal, and pitched for Triple-A Durham the last two years.

His 2014 season showed some promise at the beginning, when he went 9-1 with a 3.21 ERA and participated in a combined no-hitter before the all-star break. But after the break he went 1-4, 7.63 which sort of put a damper on what had been a great season.

Montgomery is 25 years old and left-handed. Even though this will be his fifth season in Triple-A, he still has a good chance to contribute in the major leagues someday.

Now let’s get to the best news of the last 48 hours: The Red Hot is going to have a sausage stand at Cheney Stadium this year.

If you don’t know The Red Hot, it’s a sausage-and-microbrews joint over on 6th Avenue. They have all kinds of specialty sausages and rotating taps. I love the place – I usually get the brat loaded up with their stoneground mustard.

Now they will bring a selection of sausages to the concourse of Cheney Stadium. And while the 6th Ave location is 21-and-over only, the ballpark location will serve all ages.

The guys over there are big Rainiers fans, and it will be a treat to have their food in the ballpark.

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2 Responses to Veteran Moves

  1. tacomarain says:

    Mike… what do you think this 2015 pitching staff is going to look like?
    Is it really going to be so left handed as it appears?
    I mean with recent announcement that Montgomery is going to start, that makes the rotation of Pries, Elias, Montgomery, eventually Hultzen, with possible swing guys of Kickham, Gilheeney (if he doesn’t retire), Fernandez when healthy, and either Olson or Rollins later in year…. so that could be 8 lefties there.
    Then in the pen, you could have Olmos, Moran, Luetge, Saunders, and possibly the new Cuban Siverio… another 5 lefties.
    That is quite a collection.

  2. tacomarain says:

    Well, I guess I was wrong.
    Tacoma needed another lefty in Homeless Joe Biemel. Wow.

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