Mariners Notebook: Ford DFA, DeLoach added ahead of Rule 5
Nov 14, 2023, 3:40 PM
(Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
With the deadline to protect eligible players from the Rule 5 draft at hand, the Seattle Mariners have added Zach DeLoach to the 40-man roster.
DeLoach, drafted in the second round of the shortened 2020 MLB Draft, spent 2023 at Triple-A Tacoma where he hit .286/.387/.481 for an .868 OPS.
The outfielder tied for fifth in home runs (23) in the Pacific Coast League, while also ranking second in hits and fourth in walks.
He is ranked as the No. 14 prospect in the Mariners system by Baseball America and 25th by MLB.com.
Final Saturday night of the season…still time for Zach DeLoach to order up one more #OppoTacoma.
Home run #23. pic.twitter.com/iB5vtbRisp
— Tacoma Rainiers (@RainiersLand) September 24, 2023
The Mariners had a number of Rule 5-eligible players – college players drafted no later than 2020 who have not been added to the 40-man roster, or drafted high school players drafted or players signed internationally no later than 2019 – to consider for protection. Most notable were outfielder Alberto Rodriguez, right-handed starter Taylor Dollard and shortstop Axel Sanchez. DeLoach was the only Mariners minor leaguer to be added to the roster. For a full explanation of the Rule 5 draft, click here.
To make room for the lefty-hitting DeLoach on the 40-man roster, another lefty, Mike Ford, was designated for assignment. Ford hit mainly against righties for the Mariners in 2023, slashing .228/.323/.475 (.798 OPS) in a career-high 251 plate appearances.
Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto has listed right-handed bats as an offseason priority, yet the move indicates the Mariners at this point view DeLoach as a possible contributor at some point in 2024. He joins an outfield group already heavy on left-handed hitters, with Jarred Kelenic, Dominic Canzone, Cade Marlowe and Taylor Trammell all seeing time in the big leagues last season.
Seattle Mariners’ current 40-man roster
• Monday was also the qualifying-offer deadline for players, with all seven MLB players who were extended offers declining the one-year, $20.35 million contract. That means Shohei Ohtani, Cody Bellinger, Blake Snell, Aaron Nola, Sonny Gray, Josh Hader and Matt Chapman are all free to sign with other teams, but come attached with draft pick compensation for their former team.
• The next big date on the offseason calendar with roster implications comes up Friday with the non-tender deadline. Players on the 40-man roster who have fewer than six years of major league service time must be tendered a contract by 5 p.m. or immediately become a free agent.
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• Morosi: Potential M’s trade targets, rumors from GM meetings
• Drayer: Mariners’ path to offseason success? It’s more pitching
• Rowland-Smith’s take on Seattle Mariners’ offseason pressure