They took a while, but the Mariners finally made the Raul Ibanez signing official today along with the corresponding 40-man roster move. Minor league pitcher D.J. Mitchell, acquired in the Ichiro trade back in July, was designated for assignment, meaning the Mariners now have 10 days to trade him, release him or try to outright him through waivers.
Mitchell went 3-2 with a 2.96 ERA in eight starts for Class AAA Tacoma after the deal. He struck out 33 and walked 19over 48 2/3 innings.
We already spoke to Ibanez, 40, a few days ago and gave you his comments on the blog. But I also spoke by phone with GM Jack Zduriencik about the move and what he has in store for Ibanez and the other players who play positions similar to those in his skillset.
“I think what we’re going to do right now is give him a chance to come to camp and compete with our other players already here,” Zduriencik said. “After that, we’ll have a better idea of where this all shakes out.”
Now, Zduriencik isn’t talking about Ibanez winning a job so much as he is one of his younger players holding on to theirs. Ibanez is guaranteed $2.75 million and that’s not as easy to write off as some of those deals he gave to veteran relievers cut in spring training last season. Everybody associated with the Mariners expects Ibanez to make the team and get at least 400 at-bats. Otherwise, he would not have been guaranteed so much money.More