Reitsma, Mariners agree to Minors deal
Veteran reliever attempts to return after elbow injury
A right elbow injury that limited right-hander Chris Reitsma to 26 appearances last season has improved enough for the Mariners to offer the veteran reliever another chance to establish himself in Seattle's bullpen.The Mariners announced Thursday afternoon that they had reached agreement on a one-year Minor League contract with the 30-year-old Reitsma -- almost one year to the day that he signed with Seattle the first time. Expected to provide late-inning setup relief for closer J.J. Putz, Reitsma continuously battled with discomfort in his elbow and had to be placed on the 15-day disabled list three times -- May 23-June 4; June 11-July 5 and finally on July 30. He underwent surgery in early August and spent the remainder of the season on the DL. Prior to his first trip to the DL, Reitsma allowed earned runs in just four of his 16 appearances, including just one earned run in his first eight games. Overall, he posted an 0-2 record and 7.61 ERA. In parts of seven Major League seasons, including stints with the Reds and Braves, Reitsma has a 32-46 record and 4.70 ERA in 338 appearances, including 53 starts. His best season came in 2005 when he was the Braves closer, going 3-6 with 15 saves and a 3.93 ERA.
Terms of the latest deal were not announced, but the right-hander was invited to Spring Training, which begins Feb. 14 in Peoria, Ariz. Reitsma made $1.35 million last year and had an option year on his contract for $2.7 million for 2008. But the Mariners decided on paying a $700,000 buyout.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.