11/24/2010 3:11 PM ET
Mariners Sign LHP Fabio Castro, RHP Charlie Haeger, INF Luis Rodriguez, RHP Chris Smith to Minor League Contracts
Players will receive invitations to Major League spring training.
Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik announced today that club has signed the LHP Fabio Castro, RHP Charlie Haeger, INF Luis Rodriguez and RHP Chris Smith as minor league free agents and invited them to Major League spring training.
Castro, 25, has made 30 appearances in his Major League career with the Rangers (2006) and Phillies (2006-07), going 0-1 with a 3.30 ERA. He went 7-9 with a 4.93 ERA (57 ER, 104.0 IP) in 31 appearances (15 starts) with Pawtucket, the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
The left-hander is currently pitching for Gigantes in the Dominican Winter League, going 3-1, 1.61 (5 ER, 28.0 IP) in 5 starts. He recorded back-to-back starts of 11 and 12 strikeouts Nov. 6 and Nov. 11 against Aguilas, combining for 12.0 scoreless innings. Castro was originally signed by the White Sox as a non-drafted free agent on Dec. 26, 2001.
Haeger, 27, a knuckleball specialist, made the Dodgers Opening Day roster last season. In his season debut April 11 vs. the Marlins, he struck out 12 batters, the most by a Dodger pitcher in the first start of a season since Don Drysdale in 1960. Haeger went 0-4, 8.40 in in 9 games (6 starts) with the Dodgers.
In parts of five Major League seasons with the White Sox (2006-07), Padres (2008) and Dodgers (2009-10), Haeger has combined to go 2-7, 6.40. He was originally selected by the White Sox in the 25th round of the 1999 June draft.
Rodriguez, 30, has appeared in 363 career Major League games with the Twins (2005-07) and Padres (2008-09). The utility infielder has made starts at each infield position (SS - 98 G/78 GS/2B - 112 G/69 GS; 3B - 96 G/64 GS; 1B - 6 G/1 GS) during his career. He last played in the Majors in 2009, appearing in 93 games for the Padres.
Last season Rodriguez played for the Charlotte Knights, Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. The switch-hitter batted .293 (101x345) with 17 doubles, 2 triples, 16 home runs and 56 RBI in 94 games. He is currently playing for La Guaira in the Venezuelan Winter League.
Smith, 29, has appeared in the Majors in each of the last three seasons with the Red Sox (2008) and Brewers (2009-10). The right-handed reliever is 1-0, 5.19 in 50 career appearances. In 35 appearances with the Brewers in 2009, he limited opponents to a .232 (41x177) batting average.
Smith spent most of the 2010 season with the Nashville Sounds, the Triple-A affiliate of the Brewers. He went 4-3 with 26 saves and a 3.56 ERA in 47 appearances. He led the Pacific Coast League with 26 saves and 43 games finished. He was originally selected by the Red Sox in the 4th round of the 2002 June draft out of the University of California-Riverside.