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Mariners welcome back Joe Beimel at the cost they wanted

Beimel is back, but is the giant beard?

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Beimel is coming back after all. Recently released by the Rangers after signing a one year, non-guaranteed Major League deal, Beimel had been looking for another job, preferably one with guaranteed money, but he couldn't find it. So he's back to Seattle on a minor league deal, and appears headed to Tacoma to try and earn his way back.

Beimel posted terrific results for the Mariners last year, continuing his career-long wizardry of posting low ERAs with mediocre FIPs, mostly due to unimpressive strikeout numbers. But he generally prevented hard contact last year, and filled the LOOGY role much more efficiently than Charlie Furbush, even if the peripherals would suggest otherwise.

Tyler Olson will still open the season on the 25-man roster, so Beimel will also need to perform well in Tacoma before he'll get another opportunity. Like Olson, he isn't on the 40-man roster, so that will also present a challenge to getting back. Then, there's also the whole getting shelled thing.

With the Rangers this spring, Beimel allowed a whopping 13 hits in 3 spring training innings for a cool ERA of 33.00 and .591 batting average against before he was inevitably axed.  Call it rust, call it cooked -- reports weren't good either. My initial plan for this was to track down as many highlights as possible with him pitching this spring, make a supercut played in 2.5x speed, and dub over Yakety Sax as the runners circled the bases. But there's that whole time issue, so just visualize it instead, crack a wry smile, and pray for rust.

Beimel's original Rangers contract was for $1.5 million but wasn't guaranteed, meaning he has already made around $167,000 this year for his time in spring training. For the Mariners, it's a straight minor league deal.

There's nothing to dislike about this. If he's toast at 38, he wouldn't be the first one. If he can put it together and show that those three innings/800 batters were just rust, then the Mariners have another LOOGY option not named Joe Saunders. If we're talking former Mariners here, we all know who we'd rather see as an injury replacement. Plus, that beard. Now we can truly welcome back a left-handed Joe that we're happy to see.