Mariners make 6 roster moves ahead of 40-man roster crunch

Oct 22, 2021, 1:09 PM
Mariners Shed Long Jr....
Shed Long Jr. of the Seattle Mariners swings against the New York Yankees on July 7. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

In his end-of-season press conference, Jerry Dipoto acknowledged that the Mariners would encounter a 40-man roster crunch this offseason.

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“It’s going to be tough to make the Mariners 40-man roster this offseason in a way it hasn’t in recent years,” Seattle’s general manager and president of baseball operations said on Oct. 7. “We will lose players we really like and have contributed heavily.”

Dipoto was referring to the need to protect Rule 5-eligible minor leaguers, but the crunch hits sooner as another deadlines looms: all teams are required to return players from the 60-day injured list within five days of the completion of the World Series.

The Mariners announced six player moves Friday afternoon, creating three 40-man roster spots. The moves are:

• Sam Haggerty, IF/OF, outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma
• Shed Long Jr., IF/OF, outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma
• Darren McCaughan, RHP, outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma
• Ljay Newsome, RHP, claimed off waivers by St. Louis
• Ryan Weber, RHP, outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma
• Marcus Wilson, OF, outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma

Of the six players, only three remain in the organization with Newsome being claimed by the Cardinals and Weber and Long declining the assignments and electing free agency.

“The bottleneck of talent that we have right now, it’s getting crowded,” Dipoto said in a press release. “And we probably have more depth than we’ve ever had at least in our years here. And that’s what good teams have. They have that type of depth.”

Long Jr. leaves the organization after slashing .216/.284/.376 (.619 OPS) in 417 plate appearances over three seasons. After hitting .263/.333/.454 (.787) in 168 PAs in 2019, he dealt with a right shin stress reaction for the better part of the 2020 and 2021 seasons, and he was unable to rebound following surgery in September 2020.

Players currently on the 60-day IL will automatically be reinstated to 40-man rosters five days after the conclusion of the World Series. For Seattle, that means:

• Justin Dunn, RHP
• Ken Giles, RHP
• Nick Margevicius, LHP
• Evan White, 1B
• Kyle Lewis, OF
• James Paxton, LHP (free agent)

Additionally, five players will be removed from the roster at the same time as they enter free agency:

• Paxton
• Kyle Seager, 3B
• Sean Doolittle, LHP
• Tyler Anderson, LHP
• Joe Smith, RHP

Clubs must add eligible minor league players to their 40-man rosters by Nov. 19 to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft.

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Mariners make 6 roster moves ahead of 40-man roster crunch