Seattle Mariners Non-Tender Smyly, Simmons, Sign Romine

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 3: Reliever Shae Simmons
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 3: Reliever Shae Simmons /

Today was the deadline for MLB teams to tender contracts to all arbitration eligible contracts. The Seattle Mariners non-tendered 2 pitchers, and signed Andrew Romine to avoid arbitration.

In the least surprising move of the day, the Mariners did not extend an offer to Drew Smyly, making him a free agent. Smyly missed the entire season with an elbow injury, that eventually required Tommy John Surgery in July.

With Smyly expecting to miss most, if not all, of the 2018 season, it did not make much sense to pay Smyly his projected $6.5 million, 1 year deal. Smyly is now free to sign with any team, but a reunion with the Mariners is not out of the question.

Nathan Eovaldi, who was in a very similar situation to Smyly, signed a 2 year, $6 million deal with the Rays last off-season. Logically, it makes sense for Smyly to sign a similar deal, allowing him to continue his recovery with the security of a 2 year deal. Whether or not Smyly wishes to return to Seattle is unknown.

The surprising news came when the Mariners decided not to tender a contract to reliever Shae Simmons. Simmons, who has an extensive injury history, is now a free agent. The decision is puzzling since Simmons has 3 years of control left and was only projected to make $700,000 this season.

Seattle fans got a brief glimpse at Simmons last September. He flashed closer stuff in a 7 short innings. The bullpen had already lost Emilio Pagan and Thyago Vieira, so losing Simmons is a bit of a head scratcher.

Of course, it is possible that Simmons just cannot get healthy. However; to not take a chance on a talented arm making less than $1 million is odd.

Finally, the Mariners reached a deal with utility player Andrew Romine. Romine signed a 1 year, $1.05 million deal to stick around on Seattle’s 40 man roster. The deal makes sense, as Romine was destined to be non-tendered unless he was willing to accept less than his projected $1.9 million salary.

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Romine, who played all 9 positions in 2017, is a valuable bench piece. He will fight for the Utility Man spot with incumbent Taylor Motter. Romine provides greater flexibility, as he grades out at least average defensively at every position.

The Seattle Mariners 40 man roster currently stands at 35. Seattle will remain busy all winter. Plus, with Shohei Ohtani being posted today, exciting times are just around the corner.