Seattle Mariners

Joe Beimel returns to Mariners on minor-league deal

PEORIA, Ariz. — Well, look who’s back: veteran left-handed reliever Joe Beimel rejoined the Mariners on Thursday by signing a minor-league deal just four days before the season opens.

Beimel, 37, resurrected his career last season with the Mariners by compiling a 2.20 ERA in 56 games but departed after the season as a free agent and signed March 6 with Texas.

That didn’t go well.

Beimel allowed 14 runs and 13 hits over just three innings in four appearances before the Rangers released him.

The Mariners also optioned left-hander Mike Montgomery to Triple-A Tacoma. They acquired Montgomery, 25, on Tuesday from Tampa Bay in a trade for right-handed pitcher Erasmo Ramirez.

Beimel returned last season to the majors for the first time since 2011 by pitching his way onto the club in spring training. He missed much all of 2012 and much of 2013 while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

The Mariners showed interest in retaining Beimel after last season, but talks broke down amid reports that he was seeking a multi-year deal.

Beimel eventually signed a one-year deal with Texas for $1.5 million, but the contract was not guaranteed.

The Rangers released him on March 23.

The Mariners replaced Beimel in their bullpen with rookie Tyler Olson, who pitched primarily last season at Double-A Jackson as a starter. Olson, 25, has not allowed an earned run this spring in 12 2/3 innings in 10 games.

Beimel was Pittsburgh’s 18th-round pick in 1998 and reached the majors for the Pirates in 2001, then managed by current Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon.

A year ago, McClendon employed Beimel primarily in left-on-left situations. Beimel pitched just 45 inning in his 56 outings, and limited left-handed hitters to a .188/.217/.288 slash.

Beimel is 27-33 with a 4.07 ERA in 623 games while pitching for seven clubs in parts of 12 big-league seasons.

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