The Mariners cleared room on their 40-man roster today by out-righting four players to Class AAA Tacoma. In addition, left-handed pitcher Justin Thomas, who appeared in eight games for the Mariners in 2008, was claimed by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
First baseman Bryan LaHair, right-handed pitchers Randy Messenger and Marwin Vega, and left-handed pitcher Cesar Jimenez, were all placed on outright waivers earlier in the week and went through the 48-hour waiver period without being claimed. The Mariners today out-righted them off the 40-man roster.
In the case of LaHair, Messenger and Jimenez (who was actived from the 60-day disabled list), they are all eligible for free agency as six-year minor leaguers. Vega is not eligible for free agency and will remain in the organization. The others, once they file for free agency as expected, could re-sign with the Mariner organization or seek to sign with another team.
The Mariners now have 35 players on their 40-man roster, leaving them some room to manuever as they head into the off season.
LaHair, 26, spent all last year with Tacoma, hitting .289 with 28 doubles, two triples, 26 homers and 85 RBIs in 121 games. During a 45-game stint with the Mariners in 2008, LaHair hit .250 in 150 at-bats with just three homer and 10 RBIs.
Messenger, 28, spent most of 2009 with the Rainiers (0-2, 25 saves, 2.86 ERA in 52 games). He appeared in 12 games with the Mariners and had a 4.35 ERA.
Jimenez, who turns 25 next month, was on the DL for all of 2009 with biceps tendinitis. He had surgery to repair a torn labrum on Sept. 9. Jimenez appeared in 31 games with the M’s in 2008 and had a 3.41 ERA.
Vega, 23, split the 2009 season between High Desert (A) and West Tennessee (AA), and was 0-0, 15.12 in seven games with High Desert, and 0-3, 5.27 in 19 games with West Tenn.
Thomas, 25, spent all of 2009 with Tacoma, going 2-4 with a 4.48 ERA and six saves in 53 games.