- INF Alex Liddi
- OF Johermyn Chavez
- OF Carlos Peguero
- LHP Cesar Jimenez
- LHP Mauricio Robles
- RHP Maikel Cleto
- RHP Josh Lueke
- RHP Yoervis Medina
- RHP Michael Pineda
- RHP Tom Wilhelmsen
Alex Liddi and Carlos Peguero makes really good sense too. They probably aren't quite ready to make an impact in the majors, but they are in the high levels of the minors. They needed to be protected from the Rule 5 draft, and there is an outside chance they appear in the majors before September next year.
Cesar Jimenez and Tom Wilhelmsen are nice stories, but not exactly surprises either. They are both dark horses for the bullpen out of spring training, so adding them to the roster also makes good sense. It seems that most media reports tabbed Wilhelmsen the big surprise of the bunch, but he shouldn't be. The M's sent him to the Arizona Fall League, and that was already an indication that he was on the fast track. I had him pegged as a dark horse in spring training since it was announced that he was going to the AFL, so his addition didn't surprise me a ton. As for Jimenez, he should get a long look as a lefty out of the bullpen.
That leaves three surprises for me: Chavez, Cleto, and Medina. Chavez needed to be protected, and he had a huge year, which he is now following up with a strong winter league campaign. The move makes sense to me. Maikel Cleto also needed to be added to the 40-man roster to be protected from the Rule 5 draft. He is young, and throws very hard, but is yet to get any sort of good results because he doesn't have good control. There is no way he is ready for the majors, so I don't think the odds of losing him in the Rule 5 draft were all that high. Still, with roster space, I suppose there is no reason to risk it at all.
The main reason I wrote as much as I just did about Cleto is because I think the Mariners like him much more than I do. I think he is on track to be the next Daniel Cabrera or Dennis Sarfate at best. I wonder if the M's are seeing the next Edwin Jackson, or maybe even Ubaldo Jimenez.
In the end, the biggest surprise to me is easily Yoervis Medina. I have no idea what to make of his addition to the roster. He is fairly young, and had a nice season, but all in lower levels. Is this an indication that Medina is on an accelerated path to the majors? Will he pop onto the outskirts of the radar, similar to Edward Paredes from last year? At the end of the day, I simply don't know much about him. I am curious to find out more, because it seems that the M's really like something that they see.
The roster seemed so empty before these additions. The Mariners are clearly going young, which is nice to see, and exciting. It will be interesting to see how the M's tinker with their roster the rest of the off-season, now that the majority of roster spots are filled with younger guys that the organization has put some time and effort into developing.