Walker nursing sore quad muscle
Mariners ink 14 players to contracts; Wilson released
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Tyler Walker, a right-handed reliever who is a candidate to be the Mariners' closer, was held out of practice Saturday because of a sore right quad, new Seattle manager Don Wakamastu said as the team took the field.
"He came off the field [Friday] and he had a little pull in his quad, so we held him out today," Wakamastu said. "We don't think it's that bad. We'll just keep re-evaluating it."The Mariners signed the 32-year-old Walker as a free agent Jan. 6 to a one-year contract with a base salary of $750,000. In addition, he gets a $25,000 performance bonus for appearing in every five-game increment, beginning with 40 and ending with 65. Walker spent the 2008 season in San Francisco, his second stint with the Giants. He's had 34 saves in 239 relief appearances during his six-year Major League career, including highs of 23 with the Giants in 2005 and 10 with Rays after he was traded there by San Francisco during the 2006 season. Last year, as a middle reliever, Walker was 5-8 with a 4.56 ERA in 65 games. He's had shoulder and elbow problems in the past, undergoing Tommy John reconstructive surgery on his right elbow during the 2006 season. In other news, the Mariners agreed to contracts with 14 players Saturday, meaning that 30 of the 40 players on the Major League roster are now inked for 2009. The Mariners said they will renew all outstanding contracts by March 2, the date allowable to do so under the Basic Agreement. The list included a bevy of projected Minor Leaguers and a quartet of players with a good chance of making the roster. Pitchers: Roy Corcoran, Ryan Feierabend, Gaby Hernandez, Stephen Kahn, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Justin Thomas, Marwin Vega Infielders: Mike Carp, Reegie Corona, Mike Morse, Matt Tuiasosopo Outfielders: Greg Halman, Mike Wilson Catchers: Rob Johnson Corcoran is projected for the bullpen, Rowland-Smith for the starting rotation. Corona is a Rule 5 middle infielder who must stay on the 25-man Major League roster or be returned to the Yankees, and Morse, a utility player, is out of options.
To make room for Ken Griffey Jr. on the 40-man roster, the Mariners also released outfielder Mike Wilson on Saturday.Wilson, 25, spent the 2008 season with Double-A West Tennessee and slugged a club-record 27 home runs. The Mariners selected Wilson in the second round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.