Mariners Insider Blog

Mariners sign 11 minor-league free agents

The Mariners announced free agent signings – plural – but not THE signing fans wanted.

The team agreed to terms with 11 minor-league free agents, including old favorites Luis Rodriguez and Guillermo Quiroz. All the players have contracts for the 2012 season and an invitation to spring training.

The other nine players who signed: OF Darren Ford, RHP Matt Fox, LHP Steve Garrison, RHP Jarrett Grube, LHP Sean Henn, RHP Josh Kinney, RHP Jeff Marquez, RHP Scott Patterson and LHP Phillippe Valiquette.

Here are capsules on each player, as provided by the Mariners:

Ford, 26, spent last season in the San Francisco Giants organization, including playing 26 games at the Major League level (.286/4x14, 7 SB). Considered one of the fastest players in baseball, Ford has recorded 306 career stolen bases in 701 minor league games, including 35 or more in five consecutive seasons 2006-2010. He was originally selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 18th round of the 2004 June draft.

Fox, 29, spent last season with AAA Pawtucket in the Boston organization. He went 10-4 with a 3.96 ERA (57 ER, 129.2 IP) in 28 appearances (21 starts). The right-hander pitched briefly in the Majors in 2010 with the Twins and Red Sox, going 0-0, 4.91 (4 ER, 7.1 IP) in 4 appearances (1 start). A former All-American at the University of Central Florida, Fox has a career minor league record of 45-32 with a 3.76 ERA in 173 appearances (101 starts). He was originally selected by Minnesota in the supplemental first round of the 2004 June draft (35th overall).

Garrison, 25, made his Major League debut with the Yankees last season, recording 0.2 scoreless innings vs. the Mariners on July 25. He spent the bulk of his 2011 season with AA Trenton, going 4-8 with a 5.95 ERA (50 ER, 571.1 IP) in 17 appearances (16 starts). In seven minor league seasons in the Brewers, Padres and Yankees farm systems, the left-hander has combined to go 33-36 with 3 saves and a 4.06 ERA (258 ER, 571.1 IP). He was originally selected by Milwaukee in the 10th round of the 2005 June draft.

Grube, 30, returns for his third season in the Mariners organization. The right-hander split the 2011 season between AA Jackson and AAA Tacoma, combining to go 9-6 with a 3.88 ERA (62 ER, 144.0 IP) in 28 games (21 starts). He is currently pitching for Lara in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he is 1-0 with a 3.97 ERA (10 ER, 22.2 IP) in 6 starts. He was originally selected by Colorado in the 10th round of the 2004 June draft out of the University of Memphis.

Henn, 30, went 3-2 with a 2.79 ERA (19 ER, 61.1 IP) in 43 relief appearances for AAA Las Vegas in the Toronto organization last season. He has made 60 career Major League appearances with the Yankees (2005-07), Padres (2008) and Twins (2009). The left-hander was originally selected by the Yankees in the 26th round of the 2000 June draft.

Kinney, 32, pitched last season in the Chicago White Sox organization. He went 6-3 with 14 saves and a 2.77 ERA (19 ER, 61.2 IP) in 49 appearances with AAA Charlotte. He also saw action in 13 games with the White Sox. From 2006-09, Kinney appeared in 45 games out of the bullpen for St. Louis, including 7 appearances during the 2006 postseason when the Cardinals won the World Series.

Marquez, 27, split the 2011 season between the White Sox and Yankees organizations. He posted a 2.25 ERA (1 ER, 4.0 IP) in 3 appearances with the Yankees. He spent two months on the 60-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. In 18 minor league starts, he combined to go 6-5 with a 3.71 ERA (35 ER, 85.0 IP). He was originally selected by the Yankees in the supplemental first round (41st overall) in the 2004 June draft.

Patterson, 32, re-signs with the Mariners after playing for AAA Tacoma and AA Jackson over the last two seasons. The 6-7 right-hander combined to go 4-4 with 19 saves in 52 relief appearances last season. He also pitched for Team USA in the 2011 Pan Am Games and World Cup, earning 3 saves and posting a 1.29 ERA (1 ER, 7.0 IP) in 8 appearances. In 10 minor league seasons, Patterson has combined for 72 saves and a 3.21 ERA in 388 appearances. He made his Major League debut appearing 4 games for the Yankees (1 G) and Padres (3 G) in 2008.

Quiroz, 30, is no stranger to the Mariners organization, appearing in 7 Major League games with the Mariners in three different seasons (2006, 2009-10). He played last season for AAA Tucson in the San Diego farm system, batting .240 (60x278) with 5 home runs and 44 RBI in 76 games.

Rodriguez, 31, returns for his second season in the Mariners organization. The switch-hitter appeared in 44 games with Seattle at four positions in 2011 (SS, 3B, 2B, 1B). He had a pair of walk-off hits, Sept. 14 vs. the Yankees (HR) and April 11 vs. the Blue Jays (2B). Rodriguez has appeared in 407 career games in six Major League seasons with the Twins (2005-07), Padres (2008-09) and Mariners.

Valiquette, 24, did not pitch last season with a back injury. He signed with the Mariners as a minor league free agent on Aug. 23 when the Cincinnati Reds released him off the 40-man roster. In six minor league seasons in the Reds organization, the hard-throwing left-hander went 18-19 with a 4.50 ERA and 284 strikeouts in 201 appearances (28 starts). The native of Montreal, Quebec, Canada was originally selected by the Reds in the 7th round of the 2004 June draft.