Beimel returns to Mariners on Minors deal

Beimel returns to Mariners on Minors deal

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Veteran left-hander Joe Beimel, who was an integral part of Seattle's bullpen last season, signed a Minor League deal with the club on Tuesday.

Beimel went 2-1 with a 2.20 ERA in 45 innings over 56 appearances as a lefty specialist in 2014, proving to be one of the better comeback stories in baseball after not pitching in the Majors since 2011 because of elbow issues.

Beimel couldn't come to a contract agreement to return to the Mariners last winter, however, and signed instead with the Rangers several weeks into camp, on March 6. But Texas released him on March 23 after he allowed 13 hits and 14 runs (11 earned) in three innings of Cactus League work in four appearances.

By agreeing to a Minor League deal, Beimel doesn't count against Seattle's 40-man roster, and he'll be able to see if he can regain his form at Triple-A Tacoma.

"I'm beyond excited to be back in the organization," Beimel said. "After all the events that transpired this spring, I felt like it was destiny that brought me back."

The Mariners spent much of the spring trying out lefty relief candidates for Beimel's former position as the No. 2 southpaw behind Charlie Furbush, and appear to have settled on rookie Tyler Olson, who didn't allow an earned run in 12 2/3 innings this spring while striking out 15 and walking none.

Olson, a non-roster invitee who pitched in Double-A last season, hasn't been added to the Major League roster yet, but he is one of just seven relievers remaining in camp, and that move appears a formality. The 25-man roster must be set by Sunday noon PT.

Beimel, 37, is a 12-year Major League veteran with a 4.07 ERA in 623 appearances with the Pirates, Dodgers, Rockies, Twins, Rays, Nationals and Mariners. He started his career with the Pirates in 2001, when current Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon was the skipper in Pittsburgh.

Beimel signed a Minor League deal with the Mariners last year and wound up making the squad and spending the full season in Seattle, earning $850,000.

Seattle also announced on Friday that left-hander Mike Montgomery has been optioned to Tacoma. Montgomery was acquired from the Rays on Wednesday in a trade for right-hander Erasmo Ramirez.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.