Like many teams, the middle of October is the time for roster reorganization in preparation for the beginning of the offseason. The Seattle Mariners underwent a major stretch of that shuffling today, outrighting five players and seeing a sixth claimed on waivers. The flurry of moves appear to leave the 40-man roster at a functional state of 38 players, something we’ll get to in a moment. The moves are, in their totality:
- Outrighting UTIL Sam Haggerty to Triple-A Tacoma (w/option to elect free agency)
- Outrighting 2B/OF Shed Long Jr. to Triple-A Tacoma (w/option to elect free agency, which he appears intent on selecting)
A statement from Shed Long Jr.’s agent — Nate Heisler pic.twitter.com/XM1vYQoqzM— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) October 22, 2021
- Outrighting OF Marcus Wilson to Triple-A Tacoma (w/option to elect free agency)
- Outrighting RHP Ryan Weber to Triple-A Tacoma (has already elected free agency)
- Outrighting RHP Darren McCaughan to Triple-A Tacoma (not a free agent)
- RHP Ljay Newsome was claimed on waivers by the St. Louis Cardinals
All the outrighted players above were either injured and needing to be reinstated to the 40-man roster or fringy players at best who had been added to Seattle’s 40-man roster in place of those injured folks. Only McCaughan (and Newsome) has fewer than 7 full seasons within a MLB organization, meaning he is unable to elect free agency for himself and must accept the assignment to the minors and remain in the M’s organization. The rest of the group may choose to stay, either if they see this as their best fit or feel a pathway to big league opportunity will be augmented by familiarity, but as we’ve seen already with Weber and Long Jr., the opportunity to choose your employer for the first time in your career is an appealing one.
Seattle’s goals this winter involve significant additions and augmentations externally, as well as clearing 40-man roster spots for players who may be Rule-5 eligible, making their 40-man roster spots a premium commodity. Even considering Joe Smith, Sean Doolittle, James Paxton, Hector Santiago, and Tyler Anderson will become free agents following the World Series, and in all likelihood Kyle Seager will as well, Seattle’s roster space will require further refining. There are plenty of other players in positions to be outrighted or waived, but today’s moves are unsurprisingly the easier to make. Losing Newsome is a shame, but as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, it’s likely he won’t see the mound until mid-2022 for a club in any case. We’ll see in the coming days and weeks if Nick Margevicius receives a similar treatment as he recovers from thoracic outlet syndrome, and if Seattle makes moves on any of the bench or bullpen depth pieces they have in the minors.