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Mariners get 3 Yankees prospects for Paxton

Promising left-hander Sheffield among players acquired in deal
MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Jerry Dipoto's plan to rebuild his roster with an eye toward the future got serious on Monday as the Mariners' general manager uprooted the man known as "Big Maple," dealing standout left-hander James Paxton to the Yankees for a trio of prospects -- left-handed pitcher Justus Sheffield, right-hander Erik Swanson and outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams.

Dipoto said about two-thirds of the Major League teams checked in on acquiring Paxton over the past few weeks, and the Mariners parlayed that into a pair of young pitchers they believe could be part of the rotation for years, as well as a promising young position player.

SEATTLE -- Jerry Dipoto's plan to rebuild his roster with an eye toward the future got serious on Monday as the Mariners' general manager uprooted the man known as "Big Maple," dealing standout left-hander James Paxton to the Yankees for a trio of prospects -- left-handed pitcher Justus Sheffield, right-hander Erik Swanson and outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams.

Dipoto said about two-thirds of the Major League teams checked in on acquiring Paxton over the past few weeks, and the Mariners parlayed that into a pair of young pitchers they believe could be part of the rotation for years, as well as a promising young position player.

"Pax did draw a ton of interest," Dipoto said. "This is something we worked on since early October, when we determined the idea of where we wanted to go with our roster -- the idea of taking a step back to take two steps forward."

Dipoto said the Mariners are targeting a push toward the 2020 and '21 seasons as they accumulate promising young players with longer windows of opportunity. Paxton had two years until he hits free agency, while the three newcomers all have six years of team control.

Sheffield, the No. 31 overall prospect per MLB Pipeline who was also No. 1 in the Yankees' system, is a 22-year-old who is close to being Major League ready after going 6-4 with a 2.56 ERA in 20 games (15 starts) at Triple-A last season. He appeared in three games with the Yankees in relief in September.

"Justus Sheffield has an unquestionable prospect pedigree," Dipoto said. "With a combination of high-end velocity to go along with an advanced slider and a developing changeup, we think Justus has a chance to pitch at the upper portion of our rotation soon."

Video: BOS@NYY: Sheffield seals Yankees' win in MLB debut

Swanson was the Yankees' No. 22 prospect as a 25-year-old, who also appears close to being ready for a Major League opportunity. Thompson-Williams is a 23-year-old who batted .299/.363/.546 with 22 homers and 74 RBIs in 100 games between Class A Advanced and low Class A last year.

Dipoto said he expects both young pitchers to compete for rotation spots at some point next season, while Thompson-Williams caught the Mariners' eyes as a change in his swing approach resulted in some dramatic improvement last season.

"He's a five-tool athlete who has just broken out and started to scratch the potential of what he might be," Dipoto said. "Like Jake Fraley or Mitch Haniger, he fits the criteria of a guy who has experienced some swing change, and it's resulted in some significant impact. He was hitting the ball a lot harder and more consistently. We're excited about his future as well."

The Astros' refusal to include Forrest Whitley in their offer for Paxton precipitated the Mariners' decision to trade Paxton to the Yankees, a source told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi.

Paxton figured to be Dipoto's prime trade chip this offseason. The 29-year-old lefty, who is eligible for arbitration for two more seasons, is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn $9 million in 2019.

The lanky Canadian went 11-6 with a 3.76 ERA in 28 starts for the Mariners last season, with 208 strikeouts in 160 1/3 innings. He threw the sixth no-hitter in club history on May 8 against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, a week after racking up a career-high 16 strikeouts against the A's.

"It seems to me that Seattle is trying to go young right now and building for the future," Paxton said in a conference call with Yankees reporters. "My window is only for the next two years through arbitration, so I think that they're going young. That being said, my experience in Seattle was fantastic. It was really special. Seattle will always be a special place in my heart. I'll always have a love for the city and wish them nothing but the best."

Paxton's biggest issue throughout his career has been staying healthy, but he provides the Yankees' rotation a huge boost as potentially one of the premier left-handers in the American League.

Paxton went 41-26 with a 3.42 ERA, 617 strikeouts and 168 walks in 102 starts over six seasons with Seattle, but he has made seven trips to the disabled list in the past four seasons.

Dipoto was willing to move Paxton as he attempts to shift the Mariners' focus to younger players with a longer window of opportunity in order to build around Haniger, Marco Gonzales and Edwin Diaz. Last week, the Mariners traded catcher Mike Zunino, who like Paxton has two years of team control remaining, for young Rays center fielder Mallex Smith in a similar move.

Paxton is a blockbuster deal, however, and he brings a big return in a pair of young starting pitchers.

Sheffield was a first-round pick by the Indians (No. 31 overall) out of high school in the 2014 Draft, and he was shipped to the Yankees in '16 as part of a four-prospect package for Andrew Miller.

Sheffield said he's never been to Seattle, but joked about the rain and "will go shopping tomorrow" for a rain coat. As for what Mariners fans should expect from him?

"Just kind of a bulldog mentality," Sheffield said. "No matter what jersey I'm wearing, I'll go out and compete and do what I can do for my team that day. My ultimate goal is to pitch deep in games, have a lot of innings under my belt and just come and compete."

Swanson was selected by the Rangers in the eighth round of the 2014 Draft out of Iowa Western Community College, then he was traded to the Yankees in '16 in a three-prospect deal for Carlos Beltran.

Swanson and Thompson-Williams were teammates for a year at Iowa Western, and he's also become friends with Sheffield after pitching alongside him in the Minors this past season.

"We just pushed each other and picked each other's brains in the dugout all the time," Swanson said. "Justus is a phenomenal person and really good teammate. I'm pretty excited that he's coming over with me."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners

Star prospect Bishop added to 40-man roster

MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Outfielder Braden Bishop, the Mariners' No. 5 ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline, was promoted to the team's 40-man roster on Friday in a move that will prevent him from being exposed to other teams in next month's Rule 5 Draft.

With Bishop's addition, the Mariners' 40-man roster is now at 34 players. The deadline to protect eligible players from being exposed to the Rule 5 Draft is Tuesday.

SEATTLE -- Outfielder Braden Bishop, the Mariners' No. 5 ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline, was promoted to the team's 40-man roster on Friday in a move that will prevent him from being exposed to other teams in next month's Rule 5 Draft.

With Bishop's addition, the Mariners' 40-man roster is now at 34 players. The deadline to protect eligible players from being exposed to the Rule 5 Draft is Tuesday.

Bishop, 25, posted a .284/.361/.412 line with eight home runs, 33 RBIs and five stolen bases in 84 games for Double-A Arkansas last season before being hit by a pitch that broke his right forearm in mid-July.

Bishop has recovered from season-ending surgery to repair his arm and is expected to be fully healthy for the start of Spring Training.

Bishop, who was a third-round Draft pick out of the University of Washington in 2015, has impressed the Mariners with his offensive development as well as his speed and ability to play center field.

Bishop was given the Dan Wilson Community Service Award at the end of the 2018 season for his off-field efforts, both in the Little Rock, Ark., community and with the 4MOM charity he has led to raise money and awareness to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners

No. 2 prospect White (hip) out third AFL game

22-year-old first baseman slated to return Saturday for Fall Stars Game
MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Evan White, the Mariners' No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline, sat out his third consecutive Arizona Fall League game on Wednesday to rest a sore hip, but the issue isn't believed to be serious.

Mariners director of player development Andy McKay said the talented first baseman will be back for Saturday's Fall Stars Game in Surprise, Ariz.

SEATTLE -- Evan White, the Mariners' No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline, sat out his third consecutive Arizona Fall League game on Wednesday to rest a sore hip, but the issue isn't believed to be serious.

Mariners director of player development Andy McKay said the talented first baseman will be back for Saturday's Fall Stars Game in Surprise, Ariz.

The 22-year-old got off to a strong start in the AFL, but went 4-for-24 with a double and two home runs over his past six games to see his average drop to .255, though he has a .321 on-base and .451 slugging percentage in 12 games with four doubles, two homers and 11 RBIs in 51 at-bats.

McKay indicated White is healthy enough to play, but will be given a break until Saturday's Fall Stars Game to rest up after his first full Minor League season and now a six-week stint in Arizona. White was Seattle's first-round Draft pick out of Kentucky in 2017 and is coming off a strong season for Class A Advanced Modesto.

Even without White, three other Mariners prospects contributed to Wednesday's 6-0 win for Peoria over Scottsdale as the Javelinas improved to 13-6.

Starting pitcher Anthony Misiewicz picked up the victory with three scoreless innings on two hits with no walks and two strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 3.65 in four starts.

Catcher Joe DeCarlo went 2-for-3 with a walk to put his AFL average at .310, while reliever David McKay closed things out with a scoreless ninth inning on two hits and a strikeout.

McKay will be joined by White and fellow Mariners prospect Wyatt Mills, another right-handed reliever, in Saturday's Fall Stars Game, which will be televised on MLB Network at 5 p.m. PT.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners

Misiewicz, DeCarlo star for Javelinas in AFL

MLB.com

SEATTLE -- While highly regarded first baseman Evan White has received much of the publicity regarding Mariners prospects in the early going of Arizona Fall League action, left-hander Anthony Misiewicz and catcher Joe DeCarlo stepped up Friday for the Peoria Javelinas in a 3-1 win over the Scottsdale Scorpions.

DeCarlo went 2-for-4 with an RBI triple as he continued working to improve his chances as a catching contender in the Mariners' organization.

SEATTLE -- While highly regarded first baseman Evan White has received much of the publicity regarding Mariners prospects in the early going of Arizona Fall League action, left-hander Anthony Misiewicz and catcher Joe DeCarlo stepped up Friday for the Peoria Javelinas in a 3-1 win over the Scottsdale Scorpions.

DeCarlo went 2-for-4 with an RBI triple as he continued working to improve his chances as a catching contender in the Mariners' organization.

The 25-year-old was a second-round Draft pick in 2012 as a prep third baseman out of Pennsylvania, but converted to catcher in 2017. He hit .246/.339/.440 with eight homers in 58 games for Double-A Arkansas this past season and is batting .308 with a double, triple and three RBIs in four AFL games.

Misiewicz, Seattle's No. 27-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline, threw four scoreless innings while allowing just one hit with no walks or strikeouts in a sharp 41-pitch outing in his second AFL start. The 23-year-old pitched this past season for Arkansas after being reacquired from the Rays last December.

Friday's outing was a big bounceback for the southpaw, who had allowed five runs (four earned) on three hits and a pair of walks in 1 1/3 innings in his AFL debut a week earlier. Misiewicz struggled for Arkansas this season, going 3-12 with a 5.51 ERA in 21 starts after being considered a fast-rising prospect in 2017 before being dealt to Tampa Bay in a trade that brought catcher Mike Marjama and reliever Ryan Garton to Seattle.

White, the Mariners' No. 2 prospect, went 0-for-4 in Friday's game, but he is batting .300 (9-for-30) with three doubles and nine RBIs in his first seven AFL games.

Infielder Chris Mariscal, who played for Arkansas last season, went 1-for-3 on Friday while playing third base for Peoria and is hitting .500 (6-for-12) with a triple and two RBIs in three AFL games.

In other early winter ball action for Mariners prospects
• Infielder Yonathan Mendoza has hit .571 (7-for-13) with a triple and two RBIs in his first three games for Lara in the Venezuela Winter League. Mendoza, a 24-year-old switch-hitter, batted .261 in 97 games for Arkansas this past season.

• Outfielder Chuck Taylor, the Mariners' No. 26 ranked prospect, has hit .167 (3-for-18) with three RBIs in five games for Mexicali in the Mexican Winter League. The 25-year-old switch-hitter batted .297 in 126 games for Arkansas.

• Bryan Evans has thrown 5 2/3 innings with only an unearned run allowed in two outings (one start) for Toros del Este in the Dominican Winter League. The 31-year-old right-hander has allowed five hits with six walks and no strikeouts for the Toros after going 6-3 with a 4.40 ERA in 14 starts for Triple-A Tacoma.

• Trevor Frank is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in four relief outings for Magallanes in the Venezuelan league, allowing one hit and one run with four strikeouts and no walks in 3 2/3 innings. Frank, 27, signed a Minor League deal with the Mariners in July after being released by the Padres and was 2-2 with a 3.27 ERA in 23 appearances at the Double-A and Triple-A levels last season.

• Jefferson Medina has a 2.45 ERA in four relief appearances for Aguilas del Zulia in Venezuela with two hits and one run in 3 2/3 frames. The 24-year-old right-hander went 5-3 with a 3.73 ERA in 39 outings for Class A Advanced Modesto.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Anthony Misiewicz

Pipeline names Mariners' Prospects of the Year

MLB.com

SEATTLE -- The glove has never been a question for Evan White. When it comes to defensive first basemen, he's been identified already as one of the best fielders at any position in the Minor League ranks.

But to be a big-time first base prospect, White needs to hit and show some power. That part of his game developed so well this year that the 22-year-old from Ohio was selected as this year's Mariners Minor League Player of the Year by MLB Pipeline after a strong season at Class A Advanced Modesto.

SEATTLE -- The glove has never been a question for Evan White. When it comes to defensive first basemen, he's been identified already as one of the best fielders at any position in the Minor League ranks.

But to be a big-time first base prospect, White needs to hit and show some power. That part of his game developed so well this year that the 22-year-old from Ohio was selected as this year's Mariners Minor League Player of the Year by MLB Pipeline after a strong season at Class A Advanced Modesto.

Matt Festa, a right-handed reliever who jumped from Double-A Arkansas to the Mariners' big league roster for eight games, was named the club's Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Each team's Hitting and Pitching Prospects of the Year were chosen by the MLB Pipeline staff. To receive consideration, players must have spent at least half the year in the Minors and appeared on the team's Top 30 Prospects list. White is Seattle's No. 2-ranked prospect, per MLB Pipeline, while Festa is No. 8.

White, the Mariners' first-round Draft pick and 17th overall selection in 2017 out of Kentucky, made an adjustment to his swing that paid dividends midway through the season and finished with a flourish that bodes well for his potentially rapid advancement.

His final line of .303/.375/.458 with 11 homers and 66 RBIs in 120 games for Modesto was bolstered greatly by his final 25 games, during which he hit .394/.487/.723 with 10 doubles, three triples, five homers and 26 RBIs.

"There were a lot of ups and downs throughout the season. I started off a little slower than I would have liked," said White, who had to make the jump from Class A Short-Season Everett in 2018. "But the big thing they said to me at the beginning of the year was to finish strong no matter what. So that was something I had in mind. We finished the year on a high note as a group, which was exciting to see."

Video: Top Prospects: Evan White, 1B, Mariners

A lot of players wear down in their first full year of pro ball, but White got stronger down the stretch and said an adjustment to his batting stance played a big role.

"I lowered my hands a little bit to be able to fire from a better spot and be more consistent," he said. "It's still a work in progress. The big thing was just getting under the ball a little more. I'd be hitting some balls hard, but they were low line drives. That's cool, too, and everything, but part of my job is to drive the ball and that's going to allow me to do that at a more-consistent rate."

White will get a chance to work further on that in the Arizona Fall League, as he's one of eight Mariners now playing for the Peoria Javelinas against many of MLB's top prospects.

Festa, a 25-year-old from Staten Island, N.Y., posted a 2.16 ERA in 8 1/3 innings over eight games for the Mariners. He spent most of the season as the closer for Arkansas, going 5-2 with a 2.76 ERA and 20 saves in 44 appearances.

Festa impressed Mariners manager Scott Servais in his stint with Seattle, including his 1.59 ERA over 5 2/3 innings in six outings as a September callup.

"He's not afraid," Servais said. "He goes right after guys and pounds the strike zone. He gets ahead in the count. The development of his secondary pitches, I think his slider is really good.

"Like any young player he'll make a mistake once in a while, but I like what I've seen. I think as he continues to get more experience and progress at this level, he's going to be OK. He really is. I like him. I like his demeanor. He's on the attack mode."

Video: SEA@COL: Festa strands a pair in his MLB debut

Festa said he soaked up as much as possible from his time with the Mariners.

"I learned from every experience and opportunity," Festa said. "My biggest takeaway was you need to be better with two strikes. Hitters are a lot better up here at wasting pitches they don't like and taking what they get. I was pretty effective at getting ahead, I just need to be better at executing with two strikes."

Festa's rise has been swift. After being drafted in the seventh round out of East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania in 2016, he converted to a relief role last year for Modesto and pitched well enough to get a spot in the Arizona Fall League and then an invitation to Seattle's big league camp this spring.

A hip injury sidelined him all spring, but he wound up finally getting his shot to show what he could do later in the year, and took full advantage.

"Last year, I said to myself at the end of the season, 'I just had the best season ever. Nothing can top this,'" Festa said. "I was going to the AFL and everything. Then this year turned out to be even better because I got to come up here [to Seattle].

"It's just been an amazing ride, from top to bottom. Starting with the big league camp and not being able to show anybody that I can do this to being able to be up here in September was amazing."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Matt Festa

First baseman White wins Minors Gold Glove

MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Evan White's defensive prowess at first base was recognized again on Monday as the promising Mariners prospect was named a 2018 Minor League Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner, the first Seattle farmhand to win the award since it was reinstituted in 2011.

White is no stranger to Rawlings Gold Gloves as he won two such college honors in his final two years at Kentucky, before being drafted in the first round by the Mariners in 2017.

SEATTLE -- Evan White's defensive prowess at first base was recognized again on Monday as the promising Mariners prospect was named a 2018 Minor League Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner, the first Seattle farmhand to win the award since it was reinstituted in 2011.

White is no stranger to Rawlings Gold Gloves as he won two such college honors in his final two years at Kentucky, before being drafted in the first round by the Mariners in 2017.

The only other player with Mariners' connections to win one of the Minor League Gold Gloves was center fielder Jacob Hannemann last year. But Hannemann spent all of his Minor League season in the Cubs organization before being claimed by Seattle and spending September with the Mariners.

Hannemann was then reclaimed off waivers by the Cubs in October and never played in Seattle's Minor League system.

White is Seattle's No. 2-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline. He posted a .303/.375/.458 line with 11 homers and 66 RBIs in 120 games for Advanced-A Modesto and also played four games for Triple-A Tacoma, batting .222 (4-for-18) with a pair of doubles.

White committed just four errors in his 124 games, posting a .996 fielding percentage in 972 total chances. The 22-year-old was both a midseason and postseason All-Star selection in the California League.

White is one of eight Mariners prospects who'll begin play in the Arizona Fall League on Tuesday for the Peoria Javelinas. He'll be joined on that team by pitchers David McKay, Wyatt Mills, Anthony Misiewicz and Matt Walker, catcher Joe DeCarlo, infielder Chris Mariscal and outfielder Ian Miller.

Mills played with White in Modesto, while McKay, Misiewicz, Walker, DeCarlo and Mariscal spent the year at Double-A Arkansas. Miller is the oldest of the group at 26 and played for Triple-A Tacoma.

"I'm definitely excited," White said. "I was telling my fiancé a week after I got home that I was going to play again. She said, 'You just played 100-some games and now you're going to play more?' But I've got the itch and I'm excited to play and go out there and compete."

Watch: MiLB Video

For White, the biggest question will be proving he can hit at the upper levels. There's little question about his glovework, which he flashed in the spring when given an opportunity to play in several Cactus League contests for the Mariners.

A strong finish to his year offensively at Modesto raises hopes of a rapid progression, and he'll be given an opportunity to build on that now in the AFL.

Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said White and outfielders Kyle Lewis and Braden Bishop are all prospects with a chance to break into the big league level by late next season or 2020, and White certainly welcomes that thought.

"It's definitely a goal of mine," White said. "I feel like I belong and can play at that level. I try not to think about it too much. I try to just go out and play, but it definitely gives me confidence knowing the organization believes in me enough to put me in the Fall League and give me that experience."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners

Curletta, Festa honored as top Minors players

MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Joey Curletta isn't ranked among Seattle's Top 30 prospects per MLB Pipeline, but the big first baseman opened eyes this season for Double-A Arkansas and on Tuesday he was named the Mariners' Ken Griffey Jr. Minor League Hitter of the Year.

Curletta, 24, was acquired from the Phillies for switch-pitcher Pat Venditte prior to the 2017 season and hit .282 with 23 home runs and 94 RBIs in 129 games for Arkansas while being named Texas League Player of the Year.

View Full Game Coverage

SEATTLE -- Joey Curletta isn't ranked among Seattle's Top 30 prospects per MLB Pipeline, but the big first baseman opened eyes this season for Double-A Arkansas and on Tuesday he was named the Mariners' Ken Griffey Jr. Minor League Hitter of the Year.

Curletta, 24, was acquired from the Phillies for switch-pitcher Pat Venditte prior to the 2017 season and hit .282 with 23 home runs and 94 RBIs in 129 games for Arkansas while being named Texas League Player of the Year.

View Full Game Coverage

Right-handed reliever Matt Festa (the club's No. 8-ranked prospect), who currently is with the Mariners as a September callup after spending most of the season with Arkansas, received the Jamie Moyer Minor League Pitcher of the Year honor.

The 25-year-old from East Stroudsburg University went 5-2 with a 2.76 ERA and 20 saves for Arkansas and has a 1.17 ERA in six appearances for Seattle this year.

First baseman Evan White, the Mariners' 2017 first-round Draft choice and No. 2-ranked prospect, was given the Alvin Davis "Mr. Mariner" Award after completing his season at Class A Advanced Modesto, while Arkansas outfielder Braden Bishop (No. 5 prospect) received the Dan Wilson Community Service Award.

Video: SD@SEA: White plates Seager with a sacrifice fly

Two Mariners Minor Leaguers earned invitations to next spring's Major League camp by winning the Edgar Martinez PTPA Award and "60 ft. 6 in. Club" award, which are competitions to reward the franchise's "control the zone" philosophy. Catcher/first baseman Dean Nevarez of the Arizona Rookie League Mariners earned the PTPA hitting award, while right-hander Jack Anderson from Modesto won the pitching contest.

Nevarez, 21, was a 19th-round Draft pick out of San Diego State this year. He posted a .237/.352/.336 line for the AZL Rookie squad, with 20 walks and 34 strikeouts in 41 games. Anderson, 24, put up a 2.68 ERA with 57 strikeouts and 14 walks in 53 2/3 innings over 44 relief appearances.

Jose Umbria, the hitting coach at Class A Clinton, took home the Dave Henderson Minor League Staff Member of the Year Award.

All seven winners will be honored in a pregame ceremony Friday at Safeco Field prior to that night's game against the Rangers.

Worth noting
• The Mariners have set their starting pitchers for the start of the season-ending series with Texas as Marco Gonzales will open on Thursday and Wade LeBlanc gets his final outing on Friday.

Manager Scott Servais is leaning toward giving James Paxton one more start on Saturday, assuming he feels OK coming out of Monday's four-inning outing in his return from a bout with pneumonia. If Paxton is cleared to go, Mike Leake likely finishes things out Sunday. If either Paxton or Leake is shut down, Erasmo Ramirez is the other option.

Hisashi Iwakuma will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Wednesday's series finale with the A's. Iwakuma has decided to return to Japan to continue his career after dealing with shoulder issues the past two seasons.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Matt Festa

Gonzales reinstated; Mariners call up 2 righties

MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Marco Gonzales was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list to start Tuesday night's series opener against the Padres at Safeco Field, while the club also promoted right-handed relievers Matt Festa and Nick Rumbelow as its final September callups.

Gonzales missed two starts with a cervical muscle strain in his neck, an issue that hindered his past few outings in a rough August. The 26-year-old lefty is 12-9 with a 4.32 ERA in 25 starts on the year, but he went 0-4 with a 10.35 ERA in four starts last month before going on the DL on Aug. 27.

View Full Game Coverage

SEATTLE -- Marco Gonzales was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list to start Tuesday night's series opener against the Padres at Safeco Field, while the club also promoted right-handed relievers Matt Festa and Nick Rumbelow as its final September callups.

Gonzales missed two starts with a cervical muscle strain in his neck, an issue that hindered his past few outings in a rough August. The 26-year-old lefty is 12-9 with a 4.32 ERA in 25 starts on the year, but he went 0-4 with a 10.35 ERA in four starts last month before going on the DL on Aug. 27.

View Full Game Coverage

Festa and Rumbelow were recalled from Double-A Arkansas after the Travelers finished their postseason run on Sunday with a loss in the final game of the Texas League Division Series.

Festa, the Mariners' No. 8 prospect per MLB Pipeline, will be making his third stint with Seattle. He pitched 2 2/3 innings in two prior outings, allowing one run and one walk. The 25-year-old rookie went 5-2 with 20 saves and a 2.76 ERA in 44 relief appearances for Arkansas, with 67 strikeouts and 12 walks, and he was named to the Texas League Postseason All-Star team.

Video: SEA@COL: Festa strands a pair in his MLB debut

Rumbelow has made nine appearances for the Mariners in four prior big league stints this year, posting a 6.75 ERA with nine strikeouts and three walks in 13 1/3 innings. He missed the first two months of the season with a nerve issue in his neck, and then he went 1-0 with two saves and a 2.04 ERA in 13 outings for Triple-A Tacoma before finishing with two scoreless innings in two outings with Arkansas.

With their latest additions, the Mariners now have 38 players on their active roster for the final 19 games of the season.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Matt Festa, Marco Gonzales, Nick Rumbelow

Rodriguez, 17, impresses Mariners on, off field

MLB.com

PHOENIX -- Locals refer to the area northwest of the city limits as the West Valley.

It's known for its beautiful mountain landscapes, scenic hikes and challenging bike trails. The appropriately named Lake Pleasant is there, too, as is the Peoria Sports Complex, the Spring Training home of the Padres and Mariners.

PHOENIX -- Locals refer to the area northwest of the city limits as the West Valley.

It's known for its beautiful mountain landscapes, scenic hikes and challenging bike trails. The appropriately named Lake Pleasant is there, too, as is the Peoria Sports Complex, the Spring Training home of the Padres and Mariners.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Seattle prospect Julio Rodriguez, 17, lives in a hotel with his teammates less than a mile from the famous baseball complex, and this is where you will find him until the middle of November. Rodriguez, who ranks No. 4 among Mariners prospects and is fresh off winning the team's Dominican Summer League Most Valuable Player Award, has entered the next phase of his development. It's the Mariners' goal to turn him into a high-impact player on and off the field. The Arizona suburb is where they will do it.

"We couldn't be happier with the first pro year, both what he did on the field in terms of his performance - both with his bat and his defense - and what he was able to do in the classroom in terms of high school curriculum, English, cultural simulation," said Andy McKay, the Mariners' Director of Player Development. "All those things have gone wonderfully well, and we want to build on it."

Video: Top Prospects: Julio Rodriguez, OF, Mariners

Rodriguez, who was the No. 10 international prospect when he signed with club for $1.75 million in 2017, dominated the Dominican Summer League. He hit .315/.404/.525 and had more hits (69) than games played (59). The outfielder also racked up 13 doubles, nine triples, five home runs, 36 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. He also scored 50 runs and walked 30 times.

The teen was sent to Arizona at the conclusion of the DSL late last month to continue training and get treated for a foot injury. He's staying in town to participate in the team's six-week high-performance camp that focuses on developing the mind and body that starts on Oct. 1. Rodriguez will also attend the club's Minor League mini-camp in February at the complex.

"We're trying to build athleticism in our players -- strength, and flexibility," McKay said. "We're spending a lot of time in the weight room, in the training room, a lot of time in our classroom with mental skills and leadership programs, community service programs. Basically, anything that we can do that doesn't involve being on the field playing."

The Mariners will have a better idea where Rodriguez will start the 2019 season after Spring Training. His effort during the club's high-performance camp will also factor into their decision.

"One thing with our young international players is that you're also measuring how much supervision they need," McKay said. "You're measuring ability to communicate and cultural issues. Again, you're talking about a 17-year-old. We are not in a hurry. He could be in the Arizona League, he could be up in Everett (Short-Season Class A) or in Clinton (Low A), and that'll all play itself out."

Tweet from @J_Rod_44: It was a fun day.

Rodriguez is up for the challenge. He says life in the United States has been an adjustment, but it's also been fun. He's glad he studied English in school in the Dominican Republic, so he does not have to deal with some of the language issues some of his Spanish-speaking only teammates face.

The biggest hardship he faces is the most obvious one.

"I'm only 17 and to leave your family and move to another country is not easy," he said in Spanish. "Honestly, it's really hard, but I'm working for them. I'm following my dream for me and for family."

The Mariners discovered Rodriguez at a tryout in the city of Santiago on the northern part of the island when he was 14. He flashed his athleticism during the workout and the Seattle scouts were also impressed with his makeup in their post-workout conversations. Rodriguez immediately became the club's no. 1 target.

"He was a high-profile international signing and it'd be hard to say he has not shown up and clearly shown to everybody why he was signed," McKay said. "Julio is very confident with a lot of personality, but at the same time, he performs. He works at it. He cares, and he wants to be great."

These days, Rodriguez wakes up at 5:30 a.m. and is at the Peoria Sports Complex 90 minutes later. There's usually a quick breakfast, followed by a stop in the training room before he hits the field for drills. He hits in the batting cages three times a week, lifts weights, and watches more video than he ever has in his life. He ignores the hiking, biking and other city attractions. Instead, he plays video games with his teammates during his free time. His favorite place to eat is a drive-thru restaurant near the hotel and complex that specializes in serving chicken sandwiches with two sliced pickles inside and a side of waffle fries.

"The key for me is being dedicated and focused," Rodriguez said. "Everything I do, I really focus on it and take 100-percent advantage of opportunities given to me. I've learned so much about the details of the game and all of these small things are going to help me become a big player."

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.

Seattle Mariners

Mariners recall Festa, send Bergman to Triple-A

MLB.com

SEATTLE -- The usual September callup came a couple of weeks early for right-hander Matt Festa, the Mariners' No. 8 prospect, on Saturday.

Festa will join the Mariners for his second big league stint of 2018 after continuing to pitch well in relief for Double-A Arkansas. In a corresponding move, reliever Christian Bergman -- who threw 2 2/3 innings of relief in Friday's 11-1 loss -- was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma.

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SEATTLE -- The usual September callup came a couple of weeks early for right-hander Matt Festa, the Mariners' No. 8 prospect, on Saturday.

Festa will join the Mariners for his second big league stint of 2018 after continuing to pitch well in relief for Double-A Arkansas. In a corresponding move, reliever Christian Bergman -- who threw 2 2/3 innings of relief in Friday's 11-1 loss -- was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma.

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Manager Scott Servais wanted to bolster his bullpen in advance of two games in which he won't be turning to one of his regular starters. Erasmo Ramirez got the nod on Saturday for his second start since returning from the disabled list, and the Mariners announced that Roenis Elias will make Sunday's start.

"Just trying to keep as many fresh arms as we can in the bullpen," said Servais. "Erasmo goes tonight and tomorrow Elias will go. I don't know how far he's going to be able to go in the game, so we want to cover as much as we can here in the next few days."

Sunday's start initially belonged to Marco Gonzales, but Servais shuffled the rotation in order to get extra rest for the lefty, who has pitched 142 1/3 innings.

"You do have to keep the big picture," Servais said. "We need Marco to be fresh and to try to keep him as fresh as possible as we go down the stretch here. He's going to be key for us."

Elias is still on the 10-day DL with a triceps strain. He tossed 3 2/3 innings and allowed two earned runs in a spot start vs. San Francisco as part of a 2018 campaign in which he's posted a 2.88 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 25 innings.

Festa made his Major League debut with the Mariners right before the All-Star break in Colorado. He entered in the fifth inning, retiring two batters and allowing one inherited runner to score in a loss to the Rockies.

In 39 appearances with the Travelers, Festa posted a 2.70 ERA and converted 18 of 18 save opportunities, striking out 58 over 43 1/3 innings.

Video: Top Prospects: Matthew Festa, RHP, Mariners

Andreoli to the Orioles
Former Mariners outfielder John Andreoli was claimed off waivers by the Orioles on Saturday.

The Mariners designated Andreoli for assignment on Friday in order to make room on their 40-man roster for infielder Gordon Beckham, who was called up because of Jean Segura's paternity leave.

Seattle is very deep in the outfield, thanks to the acquisition of Cameron Maybin. The Mariners carry four outfielders on their 25-man roster -- Maybin, Mitch Haniger, Denard Span and Guillermo Heredia. They also have Ben Gamel -- who owns a .290/.360/.395 line in 200 at-bats with the Mariners this season -- stashed away in Triple-A.

In 89 games for Tacoma, Andreoli slashed .287/.397/.401. The Orioles optioned the 28-year-old to Triple-A Norfolk.

Video: SEA@OAK: Paxton exits after being hit with comebacker

Paxton progressing
James Paxton has not started throwing, but Servais said the lefty's range of motion is back to normal after he was struck on the forearm by a line drive in the first inning of Tuesday's start against the Athletics. Servais was hopeful that Paxton would start throwing within a few days.

"Hopefully he's not down too long," Servais said. "That's the big thing, the longer he's down, the longer it will take to get him back game-ready."

Daddy Jean

Segura was not in Saturday's lineup, using up the second of a maximum of three days of paternity leave. Servais said he was not sure whether Segura would play on Sunday.

Because Segura was not with the team, he missed Saturday's team photo. Instead, he posted a photo of newborn Jacob on Instagram.

David Gottlieb covers the Mariners for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DGottliebMLB.

Seattle Mariners, John Andreoli, Matt Festa

Top prospect Lewis promoted to Double-A

No. 5 prospect Bishop likely out for rest of season with fractured arm
MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Kyle Lewis, who represented the Mariners in Sunday's Futures Game in Washington, D.C., has been promoted from Advanced-A Modesto to Double-A Arkansas to take the place of injured outfielder Braden Bishop, general manager Jerry Dipoto said Saturday.

Lewis is the Mariners' No. 1 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, and will get a chance to advance now after batting .260/.303/.428 with five home runs and 32 RBIs in 49 games for Modesto after recovering from offseason surgery to clean up his surgically repaired right knee.

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SEATTLE -- Kyle Lewis, who represented the Mariners in Sunday's Futures Game in Washington, D.C., has been promoted from Advanced-A Modesto to Double-A Arkansas to take the place of injured outfielder Braden Bishop, general manager Jerry Dipoto said Saturday.

Lewis is the Mariners' No. 1 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, and will get a chance to advance now after batting .260/.303/.428 with five home runs and 32 RBIs in 49 games for Modesto after recovering from offseason surgery to clean up his surgically repaired right knee.

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Bishop, Seattle's No. 5-ranked prospect, will likely miss the remainder of the season after fracturing his forearm when hit by a pitch Thursday. Dipoto said Bishop will likely require surgery and is expected to need two months for a full recovery.

Bishop was recently named to the Texas League All-Star team and hit .284/.361/.412 with eight homers and 33 RBIs in 84 games.

Video: LAA@SEA: Bishop lines a triple to right field

Lewis, 23, was Seattle's first-round Draft pick and the 11th overall selection in 2016 out of Mercer University. He injured his knee in a home-plate collision while playing for Class A Short-Season Everett a month after signing with the Mariners, then missed much of 2017 while recovering from that injury.

Bishop, 24, was a third-round Draft pick out of the University of Washington in 2015. Regarded as an excellent defensive center fielder, he impressed the Mariners after being invited to his first Major League camp this spring, but will now be sidelined until 2019.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners

Mariners add No. 9 prospect Festa to bullpen

MLB.com

DENVER -- The Mariners reached into their prospect ranks to add an extra arm to their bullpen on Saturday, promoting Double-A Arkansas closer Matt Festa for his first shot in the Major Leagues.

"It's kind of indescribable, being here," the 25-year-old said after joining the team prior to Saturday night's 4-1 loss to the Rockies. "You walk into this clubhouse and see all the guys you've always looked up to. Some of them I met in Spring Training, but I'm speechless."

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DENVER -- The Mariners reached into their prospect ranks to add an extra arm to their bullpen on Saturday, promoting Double-A Arkansas closer Matt Festa for his first shot in the Major Leagues.

"It's kind of indescribable, being here," the 25-year-old said after joining the team prior to Saturday night's 4-1 loss to the Rockies. "You walk into this clubhouse and see all the guys you've always looked up to. Some of them I met in Spring Training, but I'm speechless."

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The Mariners wasted no time getting Festa into action, as he replaced Wade LeBlanc with one out in the fifth with Ian Desmond on third. The youngster faced the meat of the order, and gave up a pair of singles to Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, allowing Desmond to score, before he got a pair of groundouts to get out of the inning.

Video: SEA@COL: Festa strands a pair in his MLB debut

"I thought Matt handled it well," manager Scott Servais said. "He wasn't fazed by the moment at all. He'll get some more chances here down the road."

Festa is Seattle's No. 9 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, and has gone 2-2 with a 3.13 ERA and 13 saves in 28 appearances for Arkansas. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound right-hander features a 92-95 mph fastball and quality slider that has helped him rack up 44 strikeouts with just seven walks in 31 2/3 innings this season.

He's the first Draft pick of general manager Jerry Dipoto's first three years in Seattle to get a shot with the big league club and joins outfielder John Andreoli -- who signed as a Minor League free agent last December -- as the second player to make his MLB debut this season for the Mariners.

Festa replaces Christian Bergman, who was optioned back to Triple-A Tacoma after making a spot start in Friday's 10-7 loss to the Rockies. The move gives Seattle 10 relievers for the final two games before the All-Star break, with just three starters currently active since Felix Hernandez and James Paxton are temporarily on the 10-day disabled list to rest sore backs.

It's likely just a chance for Festa to get his feet wet in the Majors, and provide an extra reliever until the starters are brought back after the break, but he's understandably thrilled for the opportunity; Servais said he's eager to see how the youngster performs.

"We'll see," said Servais. "This game is results oriented. You come in and do well and see where it goes from there. We'll reshuffle the deck, obviously, when we get back after the break, but he'll get an opportunity here the next couple days to show us what he's got."

The Mariners have jumped pitchers from Double-A to the big leagues before, most notably closer Edwin Diaz and right-hander Dan Altavilla. Festa knows what he needs to do to stick around.

"Keep my pitch count low, throw strikes and get outs," he said. "That's it."

Festa was a seventh-round Draft pick out of East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania in 2016. After moving to the bullpen last year for Class A Advanced Modesto, he posted a 4-2 record and 3.23 ERA with six saves in 42 outings before earning a stint in the Arizona Fall League against the game's premier prospects.

"The Fall League really helped," he said. "I was only in High-A last season, but going in there and playing those guys who are unbelievably talented was good. But the most important part was pitching in the Fall Star Game. That was on television, but that was one of my best outings and I really showed myself I could do this."

Festa was invited to Seattle's Major League camp this spring, but never pitched while dealing with a hip issue. After a slight delay to the start of his season, the New York native has gone 13-for-13 in save situations, and now will get at least some brief exposure to the big leagues.

"When I first was told I was coming up, it was like panic in my head," he said. "I'm thinking, 'It's going to be Colorado, Nolan Arenado.' But as the day went on, I realized it's the same game. You're just playing catch out there. Throw it hard, trust your stuff and it's going to play. A lot of people have backed me up and it helps build my confidence. So, when I go out there, I'm just going to let it rip."

There was no hiding the excitement in Festa's voice, however, as he recalled calling his parents to tell them he'd been promoted to the big leagues.

"Very emotional," he said. "Coming into it I was like, 'I'm too excited. I'm not going to cry.' But you hear your mom's voice and you lose it."

Bergman will rejoin Tacoma's rotation after allowing six hits and five runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Rockies. The 30-year-old is 0-1 with a 3.97 ERA in two starts for Seattle this season and 6-6 with a 4.78 ERA in 18 starts for Tacoma.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners

Mariners beat deadline to sign third-round pick

Haniger out again after injuring knee in wall crash, but no DL expected; top prospect Lewis named to All-Star Futures Game
MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Florida State catcher Cal Raleigh, the Mariners' third-round selection in the June Draft, passed a physical and signed with Seattle just prior to Friday's 2 p.m. PT deadline for college players with remaining eligibility.

Raleigh was the final unsigned pick among Seattle's top 34 choices and the Mariners were pleased to lock him up as the 21-year-old agreed to an $854,000 signing bonus, according to MLB.com's Jim Callis. That was above the slot value of $632,700 for a 90th overall selection and as high as the club could go without exceeding its allowable bonus pool.

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SEATTLE -- Florida State catcher Cal Raleigh, the Mariners' third-round selection in the June Draft, passed a physical and signed with Seattle just prior to Friday's 2 p.m. PT deadline for college players with remaining eligibility.

Raleigh was the final unsigned pick among Seattle's top 34 choices and the Mariners were pleased to lock him up as the 21-year-old agreed to an $854,000 signing bonus, according to MLB.com's Jim Callis. That was above the slot value of $632,700 for a 90th overall selection and as high as the club could go without exceeding its allowable bonus pool.

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General manager Jerry Dipoto said since Raleigh hasn't played for several weeks, he'll remain in Peoria for a few days to take batting practice and hit some live pitching before joining Class A Short-Season Everett.

"We felt he was one of the best catchers in the country in what was a pretty good group," Dipoto said. "The leadership, switch-hitting, he's a good offensive player who has defensive skills. One of the better pitch framers in the country. Fairly advanced, played in a big school in a big conference and it's an opportunity for us to put a polished catcher in the system and I suspect he'll move quickly."

Video: Draft Report: Cal Raleigh, College catcher

Meanwhile, Dipoto said first-round pick Logan Gilbert out of Stetson won't pitch for Everett at all this season after coming down with mononucleosis.

"We'd intended to let him pitch twice, to build up 5-6 innings and mostly interact with his teammates," Dipoto said. "But he's back in Orlando now, spent some time in the hospital and is resting at home. He's going to have a 4-6 week recovery from a pretty nasty case of mono. He should be ready to go in our High Performance camp in September."

Haniger sits out a second game
Manager Scott Servais held Mitch Haniger out of Friday's series opener against the Rockies, but said the outfielder's bruised knee was feeling much better and he might be able to return for Saturday's 1:10 p.m. PT game.

It was the second game Haniger has missed since crashing into the short wall down the right-field line pursuing a foul ball in Wednesday's 7-4 loss to the Angels.

"Yesterday it was really sore, but it's calmed down quite a bit today," Servais said. "He had it looked at by the doctor and it's day to day. Hopefully he goes along good today and he possibly could get back in there tomorrow. He was definitely moving and feeling better."

Triple-A Tacoma outfielder John Andreoli was flown in from Albuquerque, N.M., in case Haniger might miss several games, but won't be activated unless the injury keeps him sidelined longer than expected.

Lewis selected for Futures Game
Kyle Lewis, the Mariners' top-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline, was named Friday to the U.S. squad for the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game that will be played Sunday, July 15 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. as part of the All-Star week festivities.

Video: Top Prospects: Kyle Lewis, OF, Mariners

Lewis, who is the No. 58 overall prospect on MLB Pipeline's rankings, has missed much of the past two seasons while recovering from knee surgery, but is healthy now and has put up a .262/.305/.439 line with five homers and 27 RBIs in 41 games for Class A Advanced Modesto.

The game will be televised on MLB Network and streamed live on MLB.com starting at 1 p.m. PT.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners

Mariners' No. 3 prospect Carlson has TJ surgery

19-year-old right-hander may miss 2019 season
MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Right-handed pitcher Sam Carlson, the Mariners' No. 3-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline, has undergone Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and will be sidelined the remainder of this season and potentially all of 2019.

The 19-year-old from Minnesota was drafted in the second round by Seattle last year, but pitched just three innings over two appearances in the Arizona Rookie League in 2017 before being shut down with a sore elbow.

SEATTLE -- Right-handed pitcher Sam Carlson, the Mariners' No. 3-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline, has undergone Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and will be sidelined the remainder of this season and potentially all of 2019.

The 19-year-old from Minnesota was drafted in the second round by Seattle last year, but pitched just three innings over two appearances in the Arizona Rookie League in 2017 before being shut down with a sore elbow.

The arm continued to be a problem this spring and Carlson never got into any games this season. He threw a bullpen session in late May and there was hope at that time of getting him into extended spring training and eventually onto a Minor League club, but that never materialized.

With the typical recovery period of 12-15 months for Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament, Carlson likely won't be ready to pitch competitively until the start of 2020.

The Mariners signed Carlson to a $2 million bonus after he dropped unexpectedly into the second round of the Draft last season, likely because of his option as a high school senior of attending the University of Florida. He immediately was installed as one of Seattle's top young pitching prospects due to his impressive showings on the summer showcase circuit, where he was throwing a mid-90s fastball and a promising slider and changeup.

But that promise will be put on hold now as Carlson goes through rehab, leaving recent first-round Draft pick Logan Gilbert out of Stetson University as the top young starting pitching prospect in the Mariners' Minor League system.

Gilbert has been assigned to Class A Short Season Everett, but the 21-year-old has yet to pitch and likely will be very limited this year as he's coming off a college season where he threw more than 100 innings.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners

Mariners reach deal with No. 7 int'l prospect

Seattle inks nine international players to contracts
MLB.com

SEATTLE -- The international market has been a big talent source for the Mariners over the years and the club dipped into that area again on Monday, announcing agreements with nine players on the first day of the new international signing period.

Heading the group is Noelvi Marte, a 16-year-old shortstop from the Dominican Republic, who is ranked No. 7 on MLB Pipeline'sTop 30 International Prospects list. MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports the deal is worth $1,550,000, according to sources.

SEATTLE -- The international market has been a big talent source for the Mariners over the years and the club dipped into that area again on Monday, announcing agreements with nine players on the first day of the new international signing period.

Heading the group is Noelvi Marte, a 16-year-old shortstop from the Dominican Republic, who is ranked No. 7 on MLB Pipeline'sTop 30 International Prospects list. MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports the deal is worth $1,550,000, according to sources.

"Our scouts identified Noelvi Marte as a player with impact speed and power," said Tim Kissner, the Mariners' director of international scouting. "Those skills, combined with his ability to hit, pushed him to the top of this international signing class. His makeup and instincts for the game are well above average, and we believe he will excel once he begins working with our player development group."

Video: Jerry Dipoto on international signing Noelvi Marte

According to Sanchez, the 6-foot-1, 181-pounder is known for his power bat but he also has shown good mechanics at the plate, where he creates a lot of backspin and loft at contact. There's a belief he could hit .270 with 25-30 home runs in the big leagues one day. He is currently a shortstop and has a good feel for the position, but could shift to third base as he grows. Scouts like his hands and athleticism.

Marte is one of four infielders in the group, along with Asdrubal Bueno from Venezuela, Luis Chevalier from the Dominican Republic and Carlos Fernandez from Panama. Seattle also signed outfielder Jonathan Clase from the DR and first baseman/outfielder Gabe Moncada from Venezuela.

The Mariners also announced the signing of three pitchers -- left-hander Jose Aquino from the Dominican Republic, right-handers Adbiel Medina from Panama and Wilton Perez from the DR.

"We're very excited about the versatility of this group," Kissner said. "It's a well-balanced class of pitchers and position players who all possess the athleticism and the character to progress through our Minor League system. Each of the nine players we signed today has the skills and the makeup to make an impact in our organization over the next several years."

According to the rules established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, clubs that received a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the MLB Draft received a pool of $6,025,400, while teams that received a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Draft received $5,504,500. All other clubs, including the Mariners, received $4,983,500.

Teams are allowed to trade as much of their international pool money as they would like, but can only acquire 75 percent of a club's initial pool amount. Additionally, signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count toward a team's bonus pool, and foreign professional players who are at least 25 and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are also exempt.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners