Dae-Ho Lee added to Mariners’ 40-man roster

Mar 27, 2016, 11:21 AM | Updated: 11:25 am
General manager Jerry Dipoto expressed confidence in Dae-Hoe Lee’s ability to hit left-handed...
General manager Jerry Dipoto expressed confidence in Dae-Hoe Lee's ability to hit left-handed pitching. (AP)
(AP)

Jerry Dipoto announced Sunday morning that the Mariners have added Dae-Ho Lee to the 40-man roster. The team had until today to add Lee, otherwise he could have chosen to opt out of his contract. Lee was signed to compete for the platoon spot at first base, and while he fell just short of saying he had won the spot, Dipoto expressed confidence that Lee could give them what they were looking for at the position.

“Dae-Ho has the history of hitting left-handers and I think has given us reason to believe in spring training,” he said. “I think he’s gotten better every step of the way as we have gone along, and it has been a pleasant surprise, particularly the baserunning. Defense has been much better than we anticipated at first base and we do have confidence in his history of handling left-handed pitching, which is the role we are trying to fill.”

Related: Mariners option Shawn O’Malley and Joe Wieland to minors

While one of the candidates for the right-handed platoon partner at first base has become clearer, the fate of another, Jesus Montero, is up in the air. Montero’s locker in the big-league clubhouse was cleared out Saturday; he is not in camp Sunday.

“We will let you know tomorrow,” answered Dipoto when asked of Montero’s situation.

Not tough to read between the lines there. It appears Montero has been placed on waivers and the team is waiting to see if he clears.

With the Lee move, the Mariners 40-man roster is at 40. Once Montero is removed it will be at 39, but not for long. Non-roster invitee reliever Joel Peralta has been informed he will make the club.

“Joel’s a gamer; Joel makes a difference in our clubhouse. I think Joel is a leader in the bullpen,” Dipoto said. “He has also shown physically he has been 90-92 (mph) the entire spring. His split-finger is a weapon. He gets left-handers and right-handers out.”

The ability to get left-handers out will be important as there is still no return date set for lefty Charlie Furbush.

“TBD,” Dipoto answered when asked when he anticipated having Furbush back. “Charlie is presently situating himself to have a medical procedure. Not a surgical invasion, but a medical procedure that will hopefully help solve some of his discomfort, or initially to get out there consistently. Our hope is once we get him out there he stays out there, and we are not in a rush for that to be Opening Day or April 15. We just would like it to be sooner than later.”

The sooner the better. At this point of camp, the bullpen remains the biggest question mark.

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Dae-Ho Lee added to Mariners’ 40-man roster