After adding 17 players via minor league contracts, the Mariners signed two veteran relievers to major league deals and bumped Chris Gimenez and Mike Wilson off the 40-man roster.
The Mariners, who have signed 17 players to minor league contracts, Monday signed a pair of veteran relievers to major league deals. RHP Shawn Camp and LHP Hong-Chih Kuo agreed to one-year deals. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Mariners designated for assignment C Chris Gimenez and OF Mike Wilson.
The Mariners have 10 days to trade, release or outright the contracts of Gimenez and Wilson. The 40-man roster is full, and an additional 26 players have been invited to spring training. Pitchers and catchers report to Peoria Saturday and the first full-squad workout is Feb. 18.
The 36-year-old Camp appeared in a team-high 67 games for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011, going 6-3 with one save and a 4.21 ERA (31 ER, 66.1 IP). Camp ranked 13th among American League relievers last season in ground-ball percentage (66.1% – 123 GB, 63 FB) and ground-ball-to-flyball ratio (1.95).
He also induced 12 ground-ball double plays, tops among AL relievers, and ranked third with 1.63 GDP/9 innings. Since his MLB debut in 2004, Camp has recorded a 67.3% ground-ball rate (884 GB, 430 FB), 11th-best among AL relievers during that stretch.
Camp has appeared in 432 games (all in relief) in eight seasons with Kansas City (2004-05), Tampa Bay (2006-07) and Toronto (2008-11). His 196 relief appearances over the last three seasons (since 2009) rank third-most in the AL, trailing only Craig Breslow (219) and Brandon League (202).
Kuo, 30, appeared in 40 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, going 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA (40 games, 27 IP, 27 ER) and 36 strikeouts. Kuo went on the 15-day disabled list twice in 2011; April 16-May 1 with lower back strain, and May 12-June 19 with an anxiety disorder.
During two rehab stints with High-A Rancho Cucamonga and AAA Albuquerque, he went 0-1, 4.50 ERA (3 ER, 6.0 IP) with 10 strikeouts.
Kuo made the National League All-Star team in 2010, the first-ever Taiwanese All-Star, and finished the season 3-2 with 12 saves (in 13 chances) with a 1.20 ERA (8 ER, 60 IP) with 73 strikeouts. His 1.20 ERA is the 11th lowest by a reliever in major league history (min. 60.0 IP) and his .139 (29×208) opponent batting average is the fifth lowest in MLB history.
Kuo sports a career record of 13-17, 3.73 ERA (121 ER, 292.1 IP) with 345 strikeouts in 218 games including 14 starts. He has limited opponents to a career .213 (228×1072) batting average including .205 (67×327) against left-handers.
Since 2006, Kuo struck out 10.81 batters per nine innings, tied for seventh best by a reliever over that span (min. 200 IP as reliever). Over his career (including starts), he struck out 10.62 batters per nine innings.
Kuo was the first Taiwanese high school player to sign a pro contract when he signed with the Dodgers. He is also the first Taiwanese-born player to hit a major league home run (June 12, 2007 vs. the Mets).
He participated in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006 for Team Chinese Taipei.
Gimenez, 29, appeared in 24 games with the Mariners last season, making 20 starts at three positions (C, 1B, LF). The Mariners non-tendered Gimenez Dec. 12 and re-signed him Dec. 14.
Wilson, 28, split the 2011 season between Seattle and AAA Tacoma. He made his MLB debut May 10, 2011 at Baltimore and hit .148 (4×27) in a brief stint. Wilson has spent his entire career in the organization since being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2001 MLB amateur draft.
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