The short of it: according to Greg Johns, the have signed Guillermo Quiroz and Scott Patterson to minor league contracts with spring training invitations. Patterson re-signed, as he'd been in the Mariners' organization for the last year and a half. Quiroz didn't re-sign, but he has been Mariners property before, a few times, so he's familiar.
Here's the thing about these signings: it's unfair how they'll almost certainly be responded to in some corners. Here's the truth:
- These are risk-free minor league contracts
Here's how some people will interpret the news:
- These players aren't Prince Fielder
I don't think I've ever used this word before, so maybe I'm using it wrong, but the Albert Pujols news put a lot of Mariners fans on tilt. People were already freaking out for the Mariners to get themselves some bats, and for the Mariners to get themselves some bats that don't look like John Jaso, and then Pujols made everything that much worse. The can do it! Why can't the Mariners do it? There are people out there who are going to be mad about the Mariners signing Quiroz and Patterson. They'll be mad about the Mariners "wasting their time," or "doing what they usually do," or whatever. It's crazy and irrational, but people are upset, and those people might be less upset if the Mariners didn't do anything today at all.
Whatever. Those people can't be helped. Or they can be helped, but not by us. What do the Mariners have here in these two guys? You probably already know a little about them. Quiroz is a 30-year-old catcher. He has a little Major League experience, and he spent tiny tiny parts of three years with the Mariners, but he's more of a triple-A kind of guy, and he spent last season with triple-A Tucson. He did not hit well. He does not have a history of hitting well. He's like the Jason LaRue of triple-A.
Why bring him in when you already have Miguel Olivo, John Jaso, Adam Moore and Chris Gimenez on the 40-man roster? I don't know. Maybe Gimenez will be a roster casualty soon. Then Quiroz can play with Moore in Tacoma. Maybe Quiroz goes to double-A. There's a lot yet to be figured out, and all I know for sure is that the Mariners signed Guillermo Quiroz. They probably have some reason.
As for Patterson, he's a 32-year-old righty reliever who's actually been absolutely outstanding with Tacoma the last two years. He spent part of 2010 in the indy leagues and he spent part of 2011 with Jackson, but over 65 combined appearances with the Rainiers, he's thrown 81 innings, with 14 unintentional walks and 89 strikeouts. When Patterson first signed with the organization in June 2010, I referred to him as the saddest player in the pros, because he looked like this:
He's not the saddest player in the pros anymore! Scott Patterson's evidently been having the time of his life! He's certainly been pitching like it.
Given Patterson's success one level below, does he deserve a shot at making the Mariners' bullpen? Probably, and he'll get that shot, even if it's a slim shot. And if he doesn't make the Mariners' bullpen, he'll join the Rainiers and probably be their closer again. There are worse lives to live. There are people who work with bees.
Guillermo Quiroz and Scott Patterson. Those are the guys the Mariners signed today. If you're frustrated with the Mariners for not doing anything big yet, then, okay, whatever. If you're frustrated with the Mariners for giving minor league contracts to Guillermo Quiroz and Scott Patterson, you are horrible.