First, it was Jeremy Bonderman, now Jon Garland joins the list of veteran pitchers attempting career comebacks with the Mariners this spring. Garland, 33, hasn’t pitched since undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery with the Dodgers midway through the 2011 season and will come to Seattle’s camp on a minor league deal.
He was invited to spring training with Cleveland a year ago, but never took his physical and the deal was cancelled. This year’s physical with Seattle is to be done next week down here in Peoria, Ariz.
I’ve also been told that Joe Saunders will have his physical done at that point as well and only after that will the Mariners announce his major league deal.
The Saunders deal was reported by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports to be worth $7 million with incentives, but I’m also told there will be some type of option attached for the 2014 season. I don’t know at this stage whether it will be a club or mutual option.
As for Felix Hernandez, the final touches are still being put on his deal. Whenever you have a contract of that magnitude, the devil is often in the details and though the basic parameters have been hammered out, there are still issues that need to be cleaned up before any announcement is made. From what I’m told, it will indeed be a five-year, $135.5 million extension that kicks off in 2015. We went over the minor difference between that and the initial seven-year, $175 million extension reported yesterday that would have begun right away.
Essentially, the money and years committed are identical, it’s just that the Mariners stand to save more on payroll this year if they begin the extension in 2015.
So, no press conference until Monday at the earliest. And there’s a chance that it might be held in Peoria and not Seattle, though much of that depends on how quickly everybody can sign off on stuff. Nothing to panic about. This is how big contracts always got done before details were leaked on Twitter. It takes more than five minutes from the time a basic agreement is reached.