The Mariners’ search for another Kevin Millwood-type to hold down a spot in the starting rotation until the farm kids grow up added Saturday right-hander Jon Garland, who sat out all of last season recovering from a shoulder injury. He was signed to a minor league deal with an invitation to the major league camp in Peoria, AZ., that begins Tuesday. He has yet to pass his physical.
Also awaiting an exam is Joe Saunders, 31, who reportedly has agreed to a one-year major league contract worth $7 million.
In 12 years, Garland has a career record of 132-119 with a 4.32 ERA in 353 games, most during his eight seasons with the White Sox. He’s since pitched with the Angels, D-backs, Padres and Dodgers, before injuring his shoulder midway through the 2011 season.
Garland, 33, was 14-12 with a 3.47 ERA in 2010 with the Padres, and won 18 games in back-to-back seasons with the White Sox in 2005-06. He earned an American League All-Star berth in 2005 and finished sixth in Cy Young voting that year.
Prior to his shoulder problem, Garland was a reliable workhorse who logged 190-plus innings nine seasons in a row from 2002-10.
Garland joins former Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman among 12 non-roster pitchers invited to camp. Bonderman, 30, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2010 and is coming back from Tommy John surgery.
Behind Felix Hernandez and Hishashi Iwakuma and after the trade of Jason Vargas, the Mariners are searching for inexpensive but experienced veteran help.