Seattle Mariners Continue To Do Some Housekeeping
It is early, but the Seattle Mariners continue to be one of the busiest teams in the 2018-2019 MLB Hot Stove Season. While no outside the organization moves have been made, plenty is happening on the home front.
In case you missed it, we recently talked about a slew of moves the Mariners made to begin to shape their 2019 roster, and you can read about them here. However, the Mariners were not done with tweaking their house this week.
Perhaps the biggest and most puzzling move came when the Mariners announced they had signed Marco Gonzales to a 2-year deal worth a total of $1.9 million. The deal was interesting because Gonzales would have made the leagues minimum, roughly $550,000, in 2019 and likely 2020.
The money is not a major pay raise, but it didn’t make much sense on the surface. However, it was later revealed that Gonzales had filed a grievance against his former team, the St. Louis Cardinals, and was seeking to add time to his service clock, which would have made him eligible for free agency 1 year sooner than the Mariners originally thought.
By signing the two-year contract, Gonzales has agreed to drop his grievance, thus setting his clock back on the course that best benefit’s the Mariners. By giving Marco Gonzales a small, really insignificant raise (at least for the team), the Mariners maintain Gonzales’ rights for the next 5 seasons.
In addition to the Gonzales news, Jon Morosi has reported that the Mariners will remove pitcher Erasmo Ramirez from the 40-man roster.
The news should come as no surprise to anybody. Ramirez missed most of the 2018 season and was due roughly $4.5 million in arbitration. For a team with what most assume is a hard payroll cap, shelling out that type of money on a #5-#6 type of starter never made sense.
If Ramirez clears waivers, the Mariners could send him down to AAA Tacoma, opening a spot on the 40-man and eliminating the $4.5 million payouts. However, Ramirez has the option to refuse the minor league demotion. Assuming he does, Ramirez will become a free agent, free to sign anywhere. However, we shouldn’t rule out that Ramirez returns to Seattle on a less expensive deal.
Finally, Seattle announced numerous promotions in their baseball operations department.
How these moves affect the day to day operations of the team is tough to figure. However, Seattle is clearly not willing to stand pat with the way the franchise was set up previously. Whether or not this aggressive nature will spill into the free agent and trade markets remain to be seen.
Be sure to stay tuned for all your Mariners updates this off-season!