The last of Bill Bavasi's big-time free agent signings, right-hander Carlos Silva began another march toward reclaiming his big-league career with a three-inning start Tuesday in Venezuela.
No, the Seattle Mariners haven't penciled Silva into their rotation, but the team would love to get something from the man whose $11.5 million salary for 2010 is the second highest on the club.
And he'll make the same amount in 2011.
Playing winter ball in his home country, Silva's first start lasted three innings, during which he allowed three hits and a walk but no runs. What the team and Silva hope to get from a handful of Venezuelan games is confidence.
In two seasons since signing with Seattle, Silva has battled injury and ineffectiveness, appearing in 36 games - 34 starts - while going 5-18 with a 6.81 earned run average. Last season, Silva made six starts, spent months on the disabled list and finished 1-3 with an 8.60 ERA.
The Mariners will look at Silva as a starter and/or reliever this spring, hoping that he can somehow contribute effective innings to a team that clearly isn't prepared to eat his contract.