The Mariners announced that right-hander Juan Then has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma. It had not been previously announced that he was designated for assignment, so this move drops their 40-man roster count to 39.
Then, 23, was added to the Mariners’ roster in November of 2020 to protect him from being selected in the Rule 5 draft. A starting pitching prospect at that time, he posted a 6.46 ERA over 14 High-A starts in 2021 and then missed most of 2022 due to injury, only logging 12 innings in the minors.
This year, he’s been used primarily as a reliever. He tossed 11 innings in the majors with a 4.91 ERA, only striking out 10.4% of batters faced but keeping the ball on the ground at a 63.4% clip. But in 26 minor league frames, his ERA is an unsightly 10.04.
Since Then was added to the roster almost three years ago, he’s in his final option season and will be out of options next year. That fact, combined with his poor results of late, likely led to him passing through waivers unclaimed. This is his first outright and he has less than three years of service time, meaning he won’t have the right to reject this assignment in favor of free agency. He’ll stay in the organization without occupying a roster spot but will qualify for minor league free agency at season’s end if not added back onto the roster.