The Mariners have signed veteran first baseman/DH Mike Sweeney to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.
His signing was announced in a press release this morning. The club has scheduled a media conference call for early this afternoon. Ryan will be taking part and reporting. (I, EdgarHOF, am actually Paul Miller, one of Ryan's co-workers at the Trib).
Sweeney, 35, who lives in Gig Harbor, is a .299 career hitter over 14 major-league seasons – the first 13 with the Kansas City Royals. Last season, he hit .286 in 42 games with Oakland. He was on the disabled list most of the season after having surgery on both knees. The A's released him on Sept. 9.
That info comes from the team's press release. Here's the full text:
MARINERS SIGN VETERAN INFIELDER MIKE SWEENEY
14-year Major League veteran signed to minor league contract with invite to Major League Spring Training.
SEATTLE – Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik today announced that the Mariners signed infielder Mike Sweeney to a minor league contract with an invite to Major League Spring Training.
"Mike has been a very productive hitter in his Major League career," Zduriencik said. "He hasn't been 100% physically the past couple of years, but says he is feeling very good now. We're looking forward to giving him a chance to come to camp and compete."
Sweeney, 35, hit .286 (36x126) with 13 runs scored, 8 doubles, 2 home runs and 12 RBI in 42 games with the Oakland Athletics in 2008. He missed 85 games while he was on the disabled list from May 29 to September 2 after having surgery on both of his knees. Sweeney appeared in two games after returning from the DL and was released by the A's on September 9.
Sweeney is a .299 career hitter with 199 home runs and 849 RBI in 1324 games over 14 seasons in the Majors. Sweeney spent the first 13 years of his career in Kansas City before signing a minor league contract with Oakland on February 11, 2008. He is a five-time All-Star (2000-03, 2005) and hit .300 in four consecutive seasons from 1999-2002, including a career high .340 in 2002. He set a Royals single season RBI record with 144 in 2000 and added a career high 29 home runs that year and in 2001.
The Mariners now have 58 players reporting to Major League Spring Training (40 players on 40-man roster, 18 non-roster invitees). Pitchers and Catchers will hold their first workout February 14 in Peoria, Ariz., and the first full-squad workout will be held Feb. 18.