With a little less than an hour to go until the 5pm deadline to tender contracts to potential free agents, Jon Heyman broke that the Mariners reached an agreement with recently-acquired utilityman Andrew Romine:
andrew romine, mariners agree at $1.05M (plus 250K incentives), avoiding arbitration— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 2, 2017
Shortly after, the MarinersPR Twitter account broke the news that RHP Shae Simmons and LHP Drew Smyly were non-tendered, making them free agents:
#Mariners tender contracts to 27 players on the Major League roster. Seattle has non-tendered RHP Shae Simmons and LHP Drew Smyly. The 40-man roster is now at 35.— MarinersPR (@MarinersPR) December 2, 2017
Read: https://t.co/F19PNRzbNu pic.twitter.com/lJmPIUJ0Ay
The non-tendering of Simmons, who was expected to be a near lock to land a spot in the 2018 ‘pen should he remain healthy, comes as a bit of surprise. Hope remains that the M’s can convince Smyly to return on a team friendly deal in hopes of contributing down the stretch in 2017 and beyond.
Simmons and Smyly were acquired in what was essentially a three-way trade last offseason in which the Mariners departed with highly regarded left-handed pitching prospects Luiz Gohara and Ryan Yarbrough, as well as LHP Thomas Burrows and SS Carlos Vargas.
Gohara, 21, rose from High-A all the way to the majors last season for Atlanta after making 25 minor league starts, going 7-4 with a 2.98 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 10.7 K/9. He is currently ranked the #6 prospect in a notably deep Atlanta system.
Yarbrough, 25, just set a career high in innings pitched with 157.1, all at the Triple-A level, posting a xFIP of 3.32.
Burrows, 23, tossed 66.2 innings in A-ball, striking out 12.4/9 and posting an xFIP of 2.99.
Vargas, 18, posted a 108 wRC+ in Rookie ball.
Shae Simmons threw 7.2 innings for the Mariners and Drew Smyly never threw one pitch for them.
The Mariners 40-man roster now sits at 35, leaving plenty of vacancies with the Winter Meetings quickly approaching and honestly, they can’t arrive soon enough.