Mariners Insider Blog

Minor details: Mariners reach deal with independent league pitcher of the year

Efforts by the Mariners to restock the organizational depth in their pitching staff were under way even before Wednesday’s blockbuster trade sent right-hander Taijuan Walker to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Mariners recently reached an agreement with right-hander Lindsey Caughel, 26, on a minor-league deal, according to the Canadian Baseball Network.

Caughel was the pitcher of the year in the American Association, an independent league, after going 6-3 with a 2.09 ERA in 19 games, including 17 starts, for the Lincoln Saltdogs.

It was a bounce-back year for Caughel, who missed nearly all of 2015 after undergoing labrum surgery.

Caughel was a 23rd-round pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2012 draft. He was 17-19 with a 3.72 ERA over four minor-league seasons in the Dodgers’ organization prior to his injury.

The Mariners also recently reached minor-league agreements with two players they removed earlier this month from their 40-man roster: right-handed reliever Ryan Cook and catcher Steven Baron.

Both players were designated for assignment on Nov. 2 and agreed to minor-league deals shortly after clearing waivers.

Cook, 29, spent all of last season on the disabled list because of a torn back muscle. He was 13-12 with a 3.43 ERA in 217 games over the five previous seasons with Arizona, Oakland and Boston.

The Mariners assigned Cook to their Triple-A Tacoma roster.

Baron, 25, was the 33rd overall pick in the 2009 draft whose only big-league experience came late in the 2015 season, when he went hitless in 11 at-bats over four games. He has a .234 average in 554 games over eight minor-league seasons.

The Mariners previously confirmed minor-league deals with right-handed pitcher Micah Owings and left-handed pitcher Brad Mills. Both were assigned to Tacoma.

Owings, 34, was 7-6 with a 4.30 ERA last season in 23 games, including 19 starts, for the York Revolution in the independent Atlantic League. He pitched in parts of six big-league seasons from 2007-12 with three clubs.

Mills, 31, is remaining with the organization. He was 3-3 with a 5.28 last season in nine starts at Tacoma before a shoulder injury forced him to the disabled list. His rehab is expected to continue into spring training.

The Mariners also recently reached minor-league deals with two six-year free agents, according to right-handed pitchers Peter Tago and Blake Perry.

Tago, 24, is a six-year professional who was 6-4 with seven saves and a 4.37 ERA last season in 38 appearances at Double-A Birmingham in the Chicago White Sox’s system.

Perry, 24, spent the last seven seasons in the Arizona system. He was 0-1 with a 4.63 ERA last season in 18 relief appearances at Hi-A Visalia before missing the final three months because of an injury.

Tago was assigned to Tacoma; Perry was assigned to Double-A Arkansas.

Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners