The Mariners are expected to announce, probably after Christmas, that they will bring back left-handed reliever George Sherrill to fill a bullpen slot. Sherrill pitched for the Mariners from 2004 through 2007, leaving the club on Feb. 8, 2008, when it traded him to Baltimore in a package of players that included OF Adam Jones for LHP Erik Bedard.
Since leaving Seattle, Sherrill has pitched for the Orioles (2008-09), Los Angeles Dodgers (2009-10) and Atlanta Braves (2011). With Baltimore, Sherrill became an All-Star closer in 2008, saving 31 games. With Atlanta last season, Sherrill went 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA.
Sherrill, who came to the Mariners via their purchase of his rights from Winnipeg of the Independent League, had a 10-8 record and 3.65 ERA in 195 games (no starts) with Seattle.
Sherrill made 72 appearances for the Mariners in 2006 and 73 more in 2007, becoming the third pitcher in club history to record back-to-back seasons with 70 or more appearances, joining Norm Charlton (1996-97) and Arthur Rhodes (2000-01). Sherrill’s 145 appearances in consecutive seasons are the second most in club history behind Ed Vande Berg’s 146 in 1982-83.
According to MLB.com, Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik has reached agreement with Sherrill, a free agent, on a one-year contract worth $1.1 million, plus incentives. Although Sherrill closed in Baltimore, he told MLB.com that he understands his role as a set-up man with the Mariners.
“Right now, that (closer) is Brandon League’s job, as I understand,” Sherrill told the web site. “I’m a lefty specialist or whatever the club needs. I don’t think I have an ego. If I’m not getting right-handers out, then I’ll be a left-handed specialist. But that is one thing to work on during spring training, acting like a righty is in there and spotting up and getting comfortable with that as well.”
Mariners Offseason News/Transactions
- Nov. 1: Announced Chris Gwynn had been named the organizations Director of Player Development with the responsibility of overseeing all aspects of the Mariners minor league system.
- Nov. 2: Outrighted INF Luis Rodriguez, who opted to become a free agent (Rodriguez appeared in 44 games for the Mariners in 2011).
- Nov. 3: Outrighted LHP Anthony Vasquez to AAA Tacoma. Vasquez, 25, made seven starts for the Mariners in 2011, going 1-6 with an 8.90 ERA (29 ER, 29.1 IP).
- Nov. 18: Added OF Chih-Hsien Chiang, INF Francisco Martinez and INF Carlos Triunfel to the 40-man roster.
- Nov. 28: Named infielder/outfielder Vinnie Catricala (High Desert/Jackson) Minor League Player of the Year, RHP Taijuan Walker (Clinton) Pitcher of the Year and Arizona League trainer Randy Roetter Player Development Staff Member of the Year.
- Dec. 2: Announced the 2012 minor league coaching staff, including returning managers Daren Brown (Tacoma), Jim Pankovits (Jackson) and Eddie Menchaca (Clinton); announced that Pedro Grifol, the Mariners Director of Minor League Operations in 2011, will manage High Desert, that Jose Moreno will manage Pulaski after spending last season with High Desert, that Rob Mummau will take over as manager for Everett, and that Mike Kinkade will manage the Mariners in the Arizona League after coaching in Everett last season.
- Dec. 12: Announced that RHP Dan Cortes and C Chris Gimenez would not be offered 2012 contracts.
- Dec. 13: Signed 11 players to minor league contracts for the 2012 season, including OF Darren Ford, RHP Matt Fox, LHP Steve Garrison, RHP Jarrett Grube, LHP Sean Henn, RHP Josh Kinney, RHP Jeff Marquez, RHP Scott Patterson, C Guillermo Quiroz, INF Luis Rodriguez and LHP Phillippe Valiquette.