The Mariners have signed 37 year-old RHP Brian Sweeney, a career reliever, to a minor league deal, according to MLB.com. The Mariners have yet to announce the signing, which apparently does not include an automatic invitation to spring training.
Sweeney appeared in 24 games for the Mariners in 2010, finishing with a 1-2 record and 3.16 ERA in 37.0 innings after he was summoned from their minor league system as a replacement for Ian Snell, who had been designated for assignment.
At the end of the season, Sweeney was waived and claimed by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Sweeney has since pitched in the Mets organization.
Sweeney first pitched for Seattle in 2003, then was traded by the club with Jeff Cirillo and cash to the San Diego Padres for Vince Faison (minors), Wiki Gonzalez, Dave Hansen and Kevin Jarvis.
Sweeney pitched for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters from 200709.
In 73 games covering four major league seasons, Sweeney has a record of 4-2 with a 3.38 ERA and two saves (both in 2006 for San Diego).
In other player news, trainer Rick Griffin Thursday talked about health-related developments in the off-season:
*Centerfielder Franklin Gutierrez, 28 — After dropping as low as 183 pounds, he reported at more than 200 pounds to Seattle and free of symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome that once seemed to threaten his career. “Every bit of it is muscle,” was Griffin’s description of Gutierrez’s weight gain through lifting and a better diet.
*Shortstop Brendan Ryan, 29 –Neck injury received therapy and is able to complete all movements and will be ready for spring training.
*Outfielder Casper Wells, 27 — Had a balance disorder that was resolved through therapy and is no longer a problem. No certainty whether the condition developed as a result by being struck on the tip of the nose by a pitch.
Catcher Adam Moore, 27 — 100 percent recovered from a knee injury that cost him all but five games in the 2011 season.
Infielder Chone Figgins, 34 — 100 percent recovered from a hip flexor strain that cost him the final month of the season.
First baseman Justin Smoak, 25 — A training regimen has dropped him to 220 pounds and four percent body fat. Injuries to both thumbs have healed.
Mariners Offseason News/Transactions
- Nov. 1: Chris Gwynn 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: Returning managers Daren Brown (Tacoma), Jim Pankovits (Jackson) and Eddie Menchaca (Clinton); Pedro Grifol, the Mariners director of minor league operations in 2011, will manage High Desert; Jose Moreno will manage Pulaski after spending last season with High Desert; Rob Mummau will take over as manager for Everett; a Mike Kinkade will manage the Mariners in the Arizona League after coaching in Everett last season.
- Dec. 12: RHP Dan Cortes and C Chris Gimenez were not 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.
- Jan. 30: Signed LHP George Sherrill, who previously pitched for the club from 2004-07, to a one-year contract.
- Jan. 3: Hired Jeff Pentland as hitting coach of the Tacoma Rainiers.
- Jan. 5: Signed Japanese right-handed pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma as a free agent.
- Jan. 10: Signed right-handed pitcher Aaron Heilman to a minor league contract with an invite to major league spring training.
- Jan. 11: Signed Japanese infielder Munenori Kawasaki to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.
- Jan. 14: Traded RHP Michael Pineda and pitching prospect Jose Campas to the New York Yankees in exchange for C Jeseus Montero and Hector Noesi.
- Jan. 17: Signed RHPs Brandon League and Shawn Kelley and LHP Jason Vargas to one year contracts; announced that former Mariners Randy Johnson (1989-98) and Dan Wilson (1994-05) would be inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame July 28 at Safeco Field.
- Jan. 17: Signed LHP Oliver Perez to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
- Jan. 23: Completed their acquisition of catcher Jesus Montero and RHP Hector Noesi from the New York Yankees, more than a week after the trade was first reported. In the swap, the Mariners sent RHP Michael Pineda and minor league RHP Jose Campos to the Bronx.
- Jan. 27: Signed RHP Brian Sweeney to a minor league contract.