The Mariners announced on Wednesday that they’ve claimed right-hander Ryan Weber off waivers from the Braves and designated catcher Steven Baron for assignment. Additionally, the team has outrighted catcher Steve Clevenger, left-hander Charlie Furbush and right-hander Ryan Cook off the 40-man roster. Beyond that, the Mariners also announced that righty Adrian Sampson has been lost on waivers to the Rangers (who made their own announcement of the move shortly before Seattle’s press release was issued).
Weber, 26, is the lone addition to the Mariners’ roster and will join the organization on the heels of a 2016 campaign that saw him post a 5.45 ERA in 16 appearances (two starts) with the Braves. Weber totaled 36 1/3 innings and averaged 5.7 K/9 against 1.2 BB/9 to go along with very solid 50.8 percent ground-ball rate. His work in Triple-A Gwinnett was considerably more impressive, as he posted a 2.76 ERA with 6.0 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9 in 62 innings there. Weber will give Seattle a depth piece for both the rotation and the bullpen and comes with a minor league option remaining, so there’s no need for him to break camp with the team next spring in order to remain in the organization (assuming he’s not trimmed off the 40-man roster later this winter).
Furbush, 30, is the most notable subtraction from the roster. He’s been a key cog in the Seattle bullpen since 2012 but missed the entire 2016 season due to shoulder troubles that ultimately resulted in surgery to repair a partial tear of his left rotator cuff in August. He’d likely have made the same $1.6MM that he made in 2016 if he remained on the roster and went through arbitration, so his outright, while noteworthy, isn’t much of a surprise, either. From 2012-15, Furbush logged a 3.23 ERA with 10.3 K/9 against 3.0 BB/9 in 175 1/3 innings with Seattle.
Clevenger, meanwhile, is another unsurprising roster cut. Acquired in the much-maligned swap that sent Mark Trumbo to the Orioles this past offseason, he batted .221/.303/.309 in just 76 plate appearances and missed time with injury before ending his season on a team-issued suspension following some offensive tweets. While Mariners fans rightly cringe at the trade in retrospect, the deal was largely regarded as a salary dump at the time, and trade interest in Trumbo around the league was tepid, at best (hence the limited return).
As for Cook, the former Athletics standout has seen his career stall in recent years due largely to injuries, and 2016 brought more of the same. The Mariners announced in their press release that the 29-year-old had Tommy John surgery on Oct. 20, so he figures to be out for the entire 2017 season as well after only pitching a single inning with Seattle’s Rookie ball affiliate in 2016. Cook notched a 2.60 ERA and averaged better than a strikeout per inning in 190 1/3 frames over the first three seasons of his career in Oakland, but injuries have limited him to just 8 2/3 innings in the Majors since that time.
Baron, 25, was the 33rd overall pick in the 2009 draft but clearly hasn’t lived up to that draft billing. He’s gone hitless in his only 11 Major League plate appearances and has received very limited time in Triple-A, slashing .277/.316/.391 in 197 plate appearances. Overall, he’s a .234/.291/.341 hitter in 544 minor league games.