Mariners Minor League Free Agency Losses
With most of their core players under team control for the foreseeable future, the Mariners’ list of MLB free agents pales in comparison to that of other clubs. Kendrys Morales and Chris Young are the two most likely to be resigned, but no one affiliated with the organization will lose sleep over the possible departure of even them.
But not to be completely lost in the shuffle are the minor league free agents (the full list of whom can be found at Baseball America), thirteen of whom are eligible to leave the Mariners this offseason.
By far the best-known name on the list, his disastrous tenure was punctuated by a lone appearance in the big leagues this past year. Mariners fans are so familiar with his shortcomings that we at SoDo Mojo have devoted a full article to him, which can be found here.
Logan Kensing, the only other pitcher who spent his time predominantly with Tacoma, was brought in as an emergency veteran bullpen arm, but when Dominic Leone and Joe Beimel solidified their roles his big league opportunity disappeared.
Nick Hill split time between Tacoma and Jackson. A 2007 7th round pick, he has been a career minor leaguer, and his 7.44 combined ERA is unlikely to warrant much attention from any club including his own.
Spending the whole year with the Generals were Moises Hernandez and Stephen Shackleford. Hernandez (and yes, he is the brother of King Felix), is 30 years old, and according to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, he may retire. Shackleford, a right-handed reliever, is slightly more valuable, having put up a 3.11 ERA in 44 appearances in 2014.
Ricardo Pereira bounced around between Clinton and Everett, splitting time between the rotation and bullpen. His late-season numbers with the LumberKings were impressive, but the 23-year old is a long way from even reaching the upper echelons of the minors.
Finally, Joselito Cano (no relation to Robinson) and Luis Jimenez never even reached A-ball. Cano worked 9.1 scoreless innings in the Rookie League after coming over from the Rays’ organization, while Jimenez spent last year in the Dominican Summer League.
Feb 20, 2014; Peoria, AZ, USA; Seattle Mariners infielderGabriel Noriega
(72) poses for a picture during photo day at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
All three infield free agents spent time at AAA last year. Mariners fans are probably most familiar with Gabriel Noriega, who hit .281 from SS with the Rainiers. However, the Mariners already have two MLB-ready shortstops, and they may be in the market for another this winter, so he is plenty expendable.
At third base, Leury Bonilla and Nate Tenbrink each hit under .240 at Tacoma. In ten and seven years, respectively, neither has shown any real upside with the bat and will thus likely move on.
The only position player with MLB experience on the list is Xavier Avery (check out his player profile here). The Mariners might be wise to resign him, especially given the fact that Michael Saunders‘ name is being bandied about as a trade candidate, but his ceiling is a bench player.
Burt Reynolds finished his first year with the organization with a promising .257/.322/.465 line at High Desert. The M’s signed him out of the independent Atlantic League, and he in all likelihood will be back with the organization for 2015.