Joe Saunders was dressed in Mariners workout gear and sitting in front of his locker in the clubhouse in Peoria this morning, but his signing didn’t become official till later in the day as the Mariners had to make room on their 40-man roster for him.
The casualty was first baseman/designated hitter Mike Carp, who was designated for assignment. The team will have 10 days to either trade, release or outright Carp.
Saunders, 31, signed a one-year contract that is reportedly worth around $7 million. Last season, in 28 combined starts with the Diamondbacks (21) and Orioles (7), he went 9-3 with a 4.07 ERA.
In eight big league seasons, Saunders has accumulated a 78-65 record with a 4.15 ERA in 189 career starts. He is also quite familiar with Safeco Field having pitched for the Angels. He’s made nine starts, posting a 6-0 record with a 2.13 ERA.
Carp, 26, was acquired in a three-team trade from the Mets in 2008. He appeared in 173 games over four seasons with the Mariners, hitting .255 (139-for-545) with 28 double, 2 triples and 18 home runs. Last year, his season was derailed by two separate trips to the disabled list. He appeared in 59 games, hitting .213 with five homers and 20 RBI. But with the addition of Michael Morse, Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez, he became expendable.