With a day before the Nov. 19 deadline set by Major League Baseball, the Mariners selected the minor league contracts of three players, adding them to the 40-man roster to protect them from being selected in the upcoming Rule 5 draft.
Top prospect Julio Rodriguez, along with fellow outfielder Alberto Rodriguez and left-handed pitcher Ray Kerr were added to the Mariners’ 40-man roster, which had four open spots coming into Thursday.
Based on the collective bargaining agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association, players who signed contracts at age 18 or younger must be added to the 40-player roster within five seasons, or they’ll become eligible to be taken in the draft. Players who signed at 19 or older must be put on the 40-player roster within four seasons.
The decision to add Julio Rodriguez was a given. The slugging outfielder is the consensus No. 2 overall prospect in all of baseball behind Baltimore’s Adley Rutschman and will likely make his MLB debut at age 21 sometime in the 2022 season.
During the 2021 season, he posted a combined .347/.461/.546 slash line with 19 doubles, two triples, 13 home runs, 47 RBI, 21 stolen bases and 43 walks in 74 games between High-A Everett (28 games) and Double-A Arkansas (46 games).
Alberto Rodriguez, who recently turned 21, is rated as the No. 23 prospect in the Mariners organization. He was acquired from the Blue Jays on Sept. 1, 2019, as the player to be named later in a trade that sent right-hander Taijuan Walker to Toronto on Aug. 31, 2019.
Albert Rodriguez posted a .289/.379/.470 slash line with 31 doubles, five triples, 10 homers, 65 RBI, 15 stolen bases, 53 walks and 102 strikeouts in 100 combined games between Low-A Modesto (93) and High-A Everett (7).
Kerr isn’t on the Mariners’ prospect list largely due to his age (27) and not his talent. The lefty has a fastball that can touch 101 mph and averages around 97 mph. In 36 combined appearances between Class AA Arkansas (24 G) and Class AAA Tacoma (12 G), Kerr posted a 2-1 record with a 3.18 ERA with five saves. In 39 2/3 innings, he struck out 60 batters with 16 walks.
Kerr was signed as a nondrafted free agent on Aug. 22, 2017 after spending a summer pitching for the Peninsula Oilers in the Alaska Baseball League, a summer league for college players. He opted out of a scholarship to pitch for Cumberland University and sign with the Mariners after former scouting director Tom Allison, who played at Chapman College in Orange, California, in his college days, received a tip from his former coach Dave Renkowski. The Mariners sent area scout Jordan Bley to watch Kerr, and they signed him after a workout.
Tickets go on sale Tuesday
The Mariners announced they will open up single-game ticket sales for the 2022 season to the general public Tuesday.
As part of the announcement, the organization outlined a change to start times for weekday night games in the early months of the season.
Beginning Friday, April 1, all weekday evening games (Monday-Friday) will start at 6:40 p.m. during the months of April, May and September. Per the release, “the earlier start for weeknight games is based on feedback received from fans who have requested earlier first pitches for games during the school year.”
Season-ticket members, subscribers to “Mariners Mail” and social-media followers will have presale opportunities.
- Nov. 22, 10 a.m. — Mariners Mail subscribers;
- Nov. 22, noon — Mariners social media followers.