SEATTLE -- Right-handed reliever Chance Ruffin cleared waivers on Monday and was outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma by the Mariners.
Ruffin, 25, was designated for assignment by Seattle last Wednesday to make room on the 40-man roster after the Mariners signed free-agent outfielder Franklin Gutierrez to a one-year contract.
Because Ruffin has fewer than three years of Major League service time and had never previously been outrighted, he was automatically assigned to Tacoma's roster.
Ruffin pitched nine games in relief for the Mariners last season, posting an 0-2 record with an 8.38 ERA. He allowed nine earned runs and 14 hits in 9 2/3 innings with five walks and 15 strikeouts, recording at least one strikeout in each of his appearances.
The 6-foot, 195-pounder split the Minor League season between Double-A Jackson and Tacoma. He worked as a starter in Jackson, going 4-4 with a 3.90 ERA in 16 starts, then was 1-2 with a 3.94 ERA in 15 games -- including two starts -- in Tacoma.
Ruffin was originally selected by the Tigers in the supplemental first round (48th overall) in the 2010 June Draft out of the University of Texas. He was acquired by the Mariners in a six-player trade with the Tigers on July 30, 2011.
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog.