Mariners sign Cairo to one-year deal
Veteran infielder gives club depth and versatility
One super sub apparently isn't enough for the Mariners, who signed veteran Miguel Cairo on Tuesday to a one-year contract."Miguel strengthens our bench by giving us another player, along with Willie Bloomquist, who can cover all four infield spots and, in a pinch, the corners of the outfield," general manager Bill Bavasi said in a release. "This should allow [manager John McLaren] more flexibility to use Miguel or Willie earlier in a game, if he wants, and still be covered late." Bloomquist is regarded as one of the best backups in the Major Leagues, playing seven positions last season, including starts at five of them -- second base, third base, shortstop, left field and center field. Cairo, 33, split the 2007 season between the Yankees and Cardinals, batting .253 overall with 10 stolen bases in 82 games. He started 27 games in New York before being designated for assignment on Aug. 7. Two days later, he signed with the Cardinals and appeared in nine games for Triple-A Memphis before spending the final month of the season with the Cardinals, batting .254 in 28 games. The versatile Cairo played first base, second base, shortstop, third base and left field with the Yankees, one of six organizations he has played for during a 17-year career. Though he never played a game for the Mariners, he actually "belonged" to Seattle for 20 days in 1995. He was acquired form the Dodgers on Nov. 29, along with Willis Ontanez, for third baseman Mike Blowers. Cairo and reliever Bill Risley were traded to the Blue Jays on Dec. 18 for Paul Menhart and Edwin Hurtado. He also has played for the Cubs (1997 and 2001) and Devil Rays (1998-2000). Cairo has a .267 career batting average in 1,092 games, including a .272 mark (564-for-2,071) in 655 American League games.
He also has postseason experience, appearing in the 2001 and '02 playoffs with the Cardinals and 2004 and '06 with the Yankees. Cairo has .348 batting average (8-for-23) in nine Division Series games, and .316 (12-for-38) in 10 career Championship Series contests.The Mariners now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.