Montero to focus on season

ryan.divish@thenewstribune.comFebruary 13, 2013 

PEORIA, Ariz. – Jesus Montero isn’t going to worry about things that he can’t control. Instead, he’s choosing to concentrate on preparing for the upcoming season – the biggest of his young career.

Why this mentality? It’s pretty standard for most players during spring training, but it’s appropriate for Montero, who recently found himself linked to baseball’s current big scandal.

According to a report in the New York Daily News, Montero’s name appeared in a document in the records of BioGenesis, a now-closed Miami clinic in the center of a recent performance enhancing drug investigation involving several major league players.

Since the news came out, Montero has maintained his innocence and gone about preparing for the season.

“It’s been fine for me,” he said. “I don’t really know what is going on. I don’t have anything to do with those people. I know my agency is handling everything. I don’t know anything about it. I talk to my family and tell them there is nothing to worry about.”

Montero’s representation – Brooklyn-based ACES, headed by Seth and Sam Levinson – also represents Melky Cabrera, Gio Gonzalez and Nelson Cruz, whose names also appear in the BioGenesis documents.

“Neither Sam nor I, or anyone else at ACES, have ever met or even heard of Anthony Bosch until the recent news stories, nor does anyone have any knowledge of or connection to Biogenesis,” Seth Levinson said in a released statement.

Montero is putting his faith in the Levinsons to take care of the situation.

“For me, I just want to focus on baseball. I just want to be here and pay attention to my team and be ready,” he said. “They are going to handle everything. I didn’t have anything to do with that. I know I didn’t do anything wrong.”

There was speculation that Montero’s younger brother, who is also named Jesus and is a catcher with the Cardinals, might be the name on the document.

Montero dismissed that notion: “We don’t have nothing to do with that clinic,” he said. “Nothing.”

SAUNDERS IN, CARP OUT

Joe Saunders was sitting in front of his locker in the Peoria clubhouse, but his signing didn’t become official until later in the day Tuesday as the Mariners had to make room on their 40-man roster for him.

The casualty was Mike Carp, who was designated for assignment. The team will have 10 days to either trade, release or outright the first baseman/designated hitter.

Saunders, 31, signed a one-year contract that is reportedly worth around $7 million. Last season, in 28 combined starts with the Diamondbacks (21) and Orioles (seven), he went 9-13 with a 4.07 ERA.

In eight big league seasons, the left-hander has accumulated a 78-65 record with a 4.15 ERA in 189 career starts. He is also quite familiar with Safeco Field, having pitched for the Angels.

Carp, 26, was acquired in a three-team trade from the Yankees in 2008. He appeared in 173 games over four seasons with the Mariners, hitting .255 with 28 doubles, two triples and 18 home runs. Last year, he appeared in 59 games due to injuries and hit .213 with five homers and 20 RBI.

MARINERS SIGN 2 PITCHERS

The Mariners signed a pair of veteran major league pitchers to minor league contracts Tuesday after they passed their required physicals.

Right-handers Jon Garland and Kameron Loe received invitations to big league spring training and have chances to make the 25-man roster.

Garland, 33, missed all of the 2012 season as he recovered from surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in July of 2011.

“Going into spring, I’d gotten off the mound a few times and I was going in the wrong direction,” Garland said. “Every time I got on the mound, it was getting weaker and it wasn’t recovering as well. And I knew right then and there that I had to shut it down and give it the time it needed. It was probably the best decision I ever made.”

Now a year and a half removed from surgery, Garland said there are no lingering effects.

“I’m 100 percent, there’s no question in my mind,” he said. “I’ve been throwing off the mound for over a month and I’m feeling strong.”

Loe, 31, posted a 6-5 record with two saves and a 4.61 ERA in 70 relief appearances with the Milwaukee Brewers last season. In 2010, he made a career-record 72 relief appearances, posting a 4-7 record with a 3.50 ERA. That season, he struck out 61 batters and walked 16 in 72 innings pitched.

The 6-foot-8 Loe also spent five seasons with the Texas Rangers as a starter and reliever.

ryan.divish@thenewstribune.com253-597-8483blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners@RyanDivish

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