Ian Snell, a gamble when the Seattle Mariners acquired him last year from Pittsburgh in a seven-player deal, was designated for assignment today - almost certainly ending his Mariners career.
A starting pitcher who'd asked the Pirates to send him to the minors last year - and told the Northwest media last week he had 'mediocre' stuff - was 0-5 with a 6.41 earned run average in 12 appearances this year, including eight starts.
In his place on the roster, the Mariners have brought up 36-year-old Brian Sweeney from Tacoma, a right-handed reliever who pitched the last three seasons with the Nippon Ham Fighters.
Sweeney pitched five games with Seattle in 2003, then was traded to San Diego with Jeff Cirillo for Wiki Gonzalez, Daven Hansen and Kevin Jarvis
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The Mariners have 10 days to trade, release or outright Snell to the minor leagues. He'll almost certainly clear waivers, since any claiming team would have to pick up the remainder of his $4.25 million contract.