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Seattle Mariners add the brother of notable Seahawks player

Feb 7, 2024, 12:41 PM | Updated: 12:54 pm

Seattle Mariners Smith-Njigba Canaan...

Canaan Smith-Njigba collects his first MLB hit for the Pirates on June 14, 2022. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

(Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

The Seattle Mariners and Seattle Seahawks have something new in common as of Wednesday: they both have a Smith-Njigba brother on their roster.

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The Mariners have claimed outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba (first name pronounced KAY-nin) from the Pittsburgh Pirates and added him to their 40-man roster. Seattle sports fans should be familiar with his brother, Seahawks wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

Gee Scott, host of KIRO Newsradio’s Gee and Ursula, broke the news Wednesday morning. The Mariners announced the move at noon the same day.

Canaan Smith-Njigba, 24, is a little under three years older than Jaxon, who was the Seahawks’ first-round pick in 2023 and enjoyed a strong rookie season. An Ohio State product, Jaxon Smith-Njigba caught 63 passes for 628 yards and four touchdowns in 11 games with the Hawks.

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As for the baseball-playing half of the equation, Canaan was a 2017 fourth-round MLB Draft pick by the New York Yankees and has appeared in 18 MLB games over the past two seasons with the Pirates. He is 5 for 37 (.135) with two doubles, a triple, three runs scored, five RBIs and a stolen base at the big league level.

He spent the majority of the 2023 season with Triple-A Indianapolis, posting a slash line of .280/.366/.473 for an .839 OPS with 15 home runs, 28 doubles, a triple, 57 runs scored, 74 RBIs and 21 stolen bases on 26 attempts.

The 6-foot, 230-pound Cannan Smith-Njigba bats from the left side, throws right-handed and has played all three outfield positions as a pro, though he is primarily a corner outfielder.

The Smith-Njigba brothers were raised in Rockwall, Texas, which is in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Jaxon talked to Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy last year about growing up in the same household as a brother who would also become a professional athlete, as you can hear in the video below from producer Curtis Rogers:

To make room for Canaan Smith-Njigba on the 40-man roster, the Seattle Mariners designated right-handed pitcher Darren McCaughan for assignment. The 27-year-old McCaughan, who appeared in three games for the M’s in 2023 out of the bullpen, made 25 starts for Triple-A Tacoma last year. A 12th-round pick by Seattle in the 2017 MLB Draft, he has made five big league appearances including one start, all with the Mariners.

Expect to see Canaan in action during Mariners spring training, which begins with pitchers and catchers reporting to the team’s shared complex with the San Diego Padres in Peoria, Ariz., on Feb. 14. Cactus League games, all of which will air live on the Seattle Sports app, start Feb. 25.

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