The Mariners have signed infielder/outfielder Erick Mejia to a minor league deal, per Triple-A director of media relations Paul Braverman. Mejia was never on a 40-man roster in 2021, making him eligible to sign a contract during the lockout.
Mejia got a cup of coffee with the Royals in both 2019 and 2020, getting 43 plate appearances in 17 MLB games. In that small sample, he slashed .167/.244/.222. The Royals non-tendered him and then re-signed him to a minor league deal prior to the 2021 campaign. In 55 Triple-A games, he hit .246/.317/.409.
Despite that meager offensive production, the 27-year-old Mejia surely appeals to the Mariners due to his defensive versatility, something all MLB teams value these days. He has seen time at second base, third base, shortstop and all three outfield positions, making him a fallback option should injuries damage either their infield or outfield depth.
This is Mejia’s second stint with the Mariners, as he was originally signed by the team back in June 2012 as an amateur free agent. After spending his first three-plus pro seasons in Seattle’s organization, the M’s traded Mejia to the Dodgers for Joe Wieland in January 2016. This wasn’t the only prominent trade of Mejia’s career, as he went to Kansas City in January 2018 as part of a three-team deal involving the Dodgers and White Sox.
Braverman also notes that the M’s have re-signed left-handed pitcher Ian McKinney, who joined Seattle’s farm system in 2019 after six seasons in the Cardinals’ organization. McKinney got off to a good start this past season, as he posted a 2.18 ERA and 37.6% strikeout rate (albeit with an 11.3% walk rate) over 33 innings over over six starts in Double-A. However, after a promotion to Triple-A, McKinney’s numbers went south, with a 6.04 ERA and 19.8% strikeout rate over 52 2/3 innings (starting 10 of 11 games).