Signing minor league free agents is akin to bargain shopping; the Mariners can only hope that they’ve found something worth keeping after agreeing to deals with outfielder Ryan Langerhans, right-hander Denny Bautista, catcher Chris Gimenez and left-hander Royce Ring.
All four received invitations to spring training. The Mariners have now extended invitations to 13 non-roster players.
Langerhans, 30, is a familiar name and prototypical fourth/fifth outfielder type. He appeared in 48 games in two stints with the Mariners after making the 2010 Opening Day roster. He was outrighted to the minors on Nov. 3, declined and became a free agent. He recorded a .344 on-base percentage last season, collecting 24 walks in 132 plate appearances. Langerhans has spent parts of the last two seasons with the Mariners.
Bautista, 30, is an intriguing arm that could fit into the bullpen mix. He went 2-0 with a 3.74 ERA in 31 relief appearances (33 2/3 innings) with the World Series champion San Francisco Giants. He also saw action at Triple-A Fresno, going 3-2 with nine saves and a 3.18 ERA (8 ER, 22.2 IP) in 19 appearances. Bautista has pitched for six Major League clubs over parts of seven seasons, posting a 11-15, 5.88 ERA. He has pitched for Baltimore (2004), Kansas City (2004-06), Colorado (2006-07), Detroit (2008), Pittsburgh (2008-09) and San Francisco (2010).
Gimenez, 27 (turns 28 Dec. 27), split last season between Cleveland and Triple-A Buffalo and looks to be organization depth at catcher. He hit .190 in 58 at-bats with the Indians, making 19 starts at catcher. In 55 games with Buffalo he hit .276 with nine home runs and 32 RBI in 196 at-bats.
Ring, 29 (turns 30 Dec. 21) is left-handed and still able to walk, so he’s got value for at least another 10 years. He split last season between Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA) and the New York Yankees. In five games with the Yankees he had a 15.43 ERA in 2.1 innings. At the Triple-A level, he went 2-1 with two saves and a 1.93 ERA in 52 appearances. He’s pitched with the Mets (2005-06), Padres (2007), Braves (2007-08) and Yankees (2010) over parts of five seasons, owning a career mark of 3-3 with a 5.29 ERA.