The Seattle Mariners are trying to actually compete in the American League West. To do so, they will need veteran help. The team hopes they received that when they signed Jon Garland to a minor league deal tonight.
Jon Garland has become a journeyman of sorts in his career lately. He generally gets a one-year deal then moves on to the next team. That next team this time around is the Seattle Mariners. Garland and the Mariners have reportedly agreed to a minor league deal. In signing the deal, Garland simply moves further up the Pacific coast for the second consecutive season (in which he has actually played).
Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times confirmed the deal via Twitter. Garland will still have to pass a physical for the contract to become official.
Jon Garland agrees to minor league deal with Mariners. Invite to ST. Will take physical in Peoria next week.— Geoff Baker (@gbakermariners) February 9, 2013
Garland signed with the San Diego Padres in 2010. He helped guide the club to a 90-win season. He pitched well enough to attract the attention of numerous teams in the offseason following 2010, and he ultimately signed with the Padres' rivals to the north, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Garland reverted back to pitching more to his career averages in 2011, so the Dodgers chose not to bring him back. In 2012, he did not pitch because of shoulder surgery.
Related: Mariners sign Joe Saunders.
Garland is a 12-year veteran of the Majors. In his career, he has pitched for the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers twice, the Padres, and now if he can make the big league club, the Mariners.
Making the big league roster right out of spring training is no guarantee for Garland. He is a year removed from pitching competitively. The team will need to see that he still has something of value to bring to the rotation. At 33 years old, he should still have something left, but Garland has never been a great pitcher. He's struggled to be an average pitcher at times. Despite all this, the Mariner may be banking on him to be a veteran leader in the rotation to go along with Joe Saunders as the 2013 season progresses.
Garland has a 132-119 record in his career to go along with a 4.32 ERA. He has made one All-Star Game in 2005 and he finished sixth in Cy Young voting that year. In that magical season, Garland helped the White Sox win the World Series. He went 18-10 with a 3.50 ERA. The Mariners can only hope he can find some more of that magic.