The Mariners Friday re-signed RHP Justin De Fratus to a minor league contract two days after cutting him from their major league roster. General manager Jerry Dipoto also optioned three players to AAA Tacoma, including last year’s starting catcher, Mike Zunino.
De Fratus, 28, signed with Seattle for $750,000 after five seasons in Philadelphia, and got off to a bad start in spring training. He threw six innings in four appearances, allowing six hits with three earned runs, three walks, four strikeouts, a hit batter and a wild pitch.
Under the terms of his minor league contract, De Fratus will rejoin the Mariners in their major league camp, where he seeks to improve his fastball that has slowed since his best days with the Phillies
Zunino went to the Rainiers along with RHP Cody Martin and OF Boog Powell. All three
moves were expected.
Zunino, who it .174 in 112 games as Seattle’s starting catcher last season before finishing the year in the minors, went 3-for-19 (.158) in nine spring training games.
Zunino had been ticketed to start the season in Tacoma, but his inability to find his stroke in nine spring training games hastened his departure from Seattle’s major league camp.
Powell went 4-for-27 (.148) in 14 spring training appearances, and Martin posted a 4.50 over eight innings, allowing 10 hits with three walks.
Friday’s moves leave the Mariners with 47 players in their major league camp, including 35 roster players and 10 non-roster invitees. Two other players are on the 60-day disabled list.