The Mariners signed Mike Sweeney to a minor league deal and invited him to Spring Training. The 36-year-old batted 266 times for the Mariners last year, posting a .266/.335/.442 line. Sweeney was mostly a DH; he played just 35 innings at first base.
It seems unlikely that the five-time All Star will be on the team's Opening Day roster, since he'll face lots of competition. The Mariners already have Casey Kotchman, Ryan Garko, Ken Griffey Jr. and Milton Bradley at first base and DH.
Sweeney said on a conference call that GM Jack Zduriencik told him it won't be easy to make the team. Two other clubs were willing to offer Sweeney similar opportunities, but he says the Mariners were his "first choice all winter."
If he can't make Seattle's big league roster, he'd like to land a job with another major league team. The Mariners approached his representatives about coaching opportunities earlier in the winter, but Sweeney says he would prefer to play. He has thought about retirement, but wants to give himself the chance to play in the majors first.