BY SPNW Staff 07:57AM 06/22/2016

Mariners re-sign Tom Wilhelmsen, option Aro

The Mariners re-signed former closer Tom Wilhelmsen, a free agent, Wednesday. To make room, Seattle transferred Charlie Furbush to the 60-day DL and optioned Jonathan Aro to Tacoma.

Former closer Tom Wilhelmsen has re-signed with the Mariners. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest file

The Mariners Wednesday re-signed free agent RHP Tom Wilhelmsen, transferred LHP Charlie Furbush to the 60-day disabled list and optioned RHP Jonathan Aro back to the AAA Tacoma Rainiers. Wilhelmsen, who pitched for Seattle from 2011-15 before going to Texas in a November trade, joins the team for Wednesday night’s third of four games against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.

Since Wilhelmsen hasn’t pitched since June 13, he may end up in AAA Tacoma for a few games.

The 32-year-old Wilhelmsen went 11-10 with 67 saves and a 2.97 ERA during his five seasons with the Mariners before they shipped him, OF James Jones and INF Patrick Kivlehan to the Rangers for OF Leonys Martin and RHP Anthony Bass.

Wilhelmsen did not flourish with Texas. In 21 appearances this, he went 2-3 with a 10.55 ERA anf 11 strikeouts. Wilhelmsen declined an outright assignment from Texas and was granted free agency June 16.

Wilhelmsen is the Mariners all-time leader in ERA with a mark of 2.97. He’s also tied with Norm Charlton for the fifth-most saves in club history. His 265 relief appearances with Seattle rank sixth in club history. Wilhelmsen signed with the Mariners as a minor league free agent before the 2010 season.

Furbush, 30, has not pitched this season after being placed on the 15-day disabled list in spring training with left shoulder biceps tendinitis.

Aro, 25, had one appearance with Seattle after being recalled from AAA Tacoma June 17. Prior to his recall, Aro went 2-2 with one save and a 2.45 ERA in 22 games with the Rainiers.

The Mariners also made a minor league trade Wednesday, acquiring LHP Wade LeBlanc from the Toronto Blue Jays (AAA Buffalo) for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

LeBlanc, 31, was 7-2 with a 1.71 ERA in 14 starts (12 quality) with Buffalo. The 6-foot-3, 209-pounder currently leads the International League in ERA and innings pitched (89.2), while also ranking among league leaders in wins and strikeouts. LeBlanc signed with the Blue Jays as a minor league free agent Dec. 18.

LeBlanc spent 2015 with the Seibu Lions in the Japan Pacific League. He is a veteran of seven MLB seasons with San Diego (2008-11), Miami (2012-13), Houston (2013), Los Angeles-AL (2014) and New York-AL (2014). He has a combined record of 21-33 with a 4.47 ERA.

Losers of three in a row, the Mariners send RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (6-5, 4.18) to face RHP Michael Fulmer (7-2, 2.43) at 4:10 p.m.

 


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