We knew we were going to say goodbye to Jesus Montero this year, and it became official earlier this week.
After setting a Tacoma franchise record with a .355 batting average last year, Montero was out of minor league options going into 2016. He was either going to make the Mariners, or be lost to another team on waivers.
The latter came true. Seattle decided to go with Dae-Ho Lee as the right-handed bench bat/first baseman, choosing him over Montero. Montero was exposed to the waiver wire, and the Toronto Blue Jays claimed him.
So now the Montero family packs up and flies to Dunedin, Florida to catch the tail end of Blue Jays spring training. He now faces the same situation in Toronto that he did with Seattle: he must make the big league opening day roster, or else go through the same waiver process again.
We’ll miss Montero in Tacoma, where he was a dangerous hitter. He hit .315 with 35 home runs and 168 RBI in 214 games for the Rainiers, and he was a 2015 midseason and postseason PCL All-Star.
The M’s helped out the big league bullpen today by acquiring right-hander Nick Vincent from the San Diego Padres in exchange for a player to be named later.
Vincent is major league help: he’s out of minor league options. But adding him does help the Tacoma bullpen, as one of the pitchers who was previously likely to make the Mariners is now slated for Tacoma. We’ll find out how the Rainiers bullpen is shaping up soon – probably on Sunday or Monday.
Vincent has crafted a 2.62 career ERA in 161 major league games, working 151 innings. Pretty nice numbers for a guy who was available at the end of spring camp.
- The Jesus Montero era in Seattle and Tacoma is over.
- Donn Roach was a candidate to make the Mariners bullpen prior to today’s acquisition of Nick Vincent – now he appears to be ticketed for Tacoma. Bob Condotta caught up with him for the Seattle Times.
- Ryan Divish has the details on the non-surgical procedure Charlie Furbush is going through to try to get his shoulder in shape.
- Taijuan Walker is using a slider instead of a cutter this year.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook leads off with an item on how pleased Joel Peralta is to make the team.
- Here’s a story from Monday after James Paxton, Chris Taylor, and Stefen Romero were optioned to Tacoma – the article has quotes from many sources on the reasons for the moves.
- The Mariners beat the Royals on Monday, with organizational infielder Brock Hebert having a great moment: up from minor league camp, he hit the decisive two-run homer.
- Former Rainiers reliever Steve Delabar was released by Toronto. Don’t be surprised if the Mariners try to bring him back for bullpen depth.
- Ex-Rainiers pitcher Erasmo Ramirez is going to work out of the Tampa Bay bullpen to start the season, because they don’t need a fifth starter due to scheduled off days.
- The website Beyond The Box Score had an Ichiro Day yesterday. Lots of good stories here.
- Federal Way’s Tony Barnette is making his big league debut after spending six years in Japan – definitely a unique story.
- In the PCL, Bill Gorman has passed away – he spent 30 years as the General Manager of the Omaha club.
- Out in Round Rock, the Express will have three highly-touted prospects. The Rainiers head to Texas in late May.
Check back on Friday for a new post.