The Mariners Thursday signed five players — OF Mike Baxter, RHPs Casey Coleman and Blake Parker, INF Ed Lucas and LHP Brad Mills — to minor league contracts and invited the group to spring training. In an unrelated development, former Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma reportedly failed his physical with the Los Angeles Dodgers, nullifying the three-year, $45 million contract to which he agreed last week.
Baxter, 31, spent last year in the Cubs organization, splitting time with AAA Iowa and the Cubs. In 34 games in the majors, he hit .246 with two RBIs. With Iowa, he hit .279 with one home run, 20 RBIs and a .390 OBP in 74 games. In parts of six MLB seasons with San Diego, New York (NL), Los Angeles (NL) and Chicago (NL), he has hit .228 with four home runs and 28 RBIs in 232 games. He was selected by San Diego in the fourth round of the 2005 draft out of Vanderbilt.
The 28-year-old Coleman spent last season with AAA Omaha in the Kansas City Royals organization where he went 5-4 with a 4.92 ERA in 33 games. In parts of four seasons with Chicago-NL (2010-12) and Kansas City (2014), he is 8-13 with a 5.72 ERA. He was drafted by Chicago (NL) in the 15th round (2008) out of Florida Gulf Coast University.
Lucas, 33, spent last season with AAA Round Rock in the Texas organization where he hit .316 with sjx home runs and 48 RBI in 107 games. In two MLB seasons, both with Miami (2013-14), he has combined to hit .255 with five home runs and 37 RBI in 163 games. He was drafted by Kansas City in the eighth round (2004) out of Dartmouth.
Mills, 30, spent last season in the Oakland organization, mostly with AAA Nashville, where he went 5-12 with a 4.52 ERA. In parts of six seasons with Toronto (2009-11, 2014), Los Angeles-AL (2012) and Oakland (2014, 2015), he is 4-4 with a 7.97 ERA. He was selected by Toronto in the fourth round of the 2007 draft out of the University of Arizona.
Parker, 30, appeared in three games with AAA Iowa before having surgery to remove loose bodies in his right elbow. In parts of three seasons with the Cubs, he is 2-3 with a 3.68 ERA with 85 strikeouts in 74 games, all in relief. In 2013, he posted a 2.72 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 49 relief appearances with the Cubs. He was drafted by Chicago (NL) in the 16th round of the University of Arkansas.
Iwakuma could still sign with the Dodgers, but on a lesser deal, according to reports.