Mariners outright Jimenez, set roster for Japan

Mariners outright Jimenez, set roster for Japan

Mariners outright Jimenez, set roster for Japan
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Mariners outrighted left-handed reliever Cesar Jimenez to Triple-A Tacoma and finalized their 30-player travel squad for Japan on Thursday, with the team taking off Thursday afternoon on the 13-hour flight to Tokyo.

The club will spend a week in Japan, concluding with two regular-season games against the A's on Wednesday at 3:10 a.m. PT and Thursday at 2:10 a.m. in the Tokyo Dome.

Jimenez was outrighted to clear a spot on the 40-man roster, as the Mariners need to open space for several non-roster invitees who figure to open the season on the squad.

Jimenez, 27, has been in the Mariners organization since 2001 and played with the big league club in 2006, '08 and '11, going 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in eight games last year as a September callup.

The 30-man traveling squad, which doesn't include starting pitcher Kevin Millwood, who will stay behind in Arizona since he wasn't going to be used in either of the two exhibition or regular-season contests, is as follows:

Starting pitchers: Blake Beavan, Felix Hernandez, Hector Noesi, Jason Vargas.

Relievers: Steve Delabar, Charlie Furbush, Hisashi Iwakuma, Shawn Kelley, Brandon League, Lucas Luetge, Erasmo Ramirez, Chance Ruffin, George Sherrill, Tom Wilhelmsen.

Catchers: John Jaso, Jesus Montero, Miguel Olivo, Guillermo Quiroz.

Infielders: Dustin Ackley, Chone Figgins, Munenori Kawasaki, Alex Liddi, Brendan Ryan, Kyle Seager, Justin Smoak.

Outfielders: Mike Carp, Carlos Peguero, Michael Saunders, Ichiro Suzuki, Casper Wells.

Not traveling with the team are catchers Jesus Sucre and Adam Moore, infielders Vinnie Catricala and Luis Rodriguez, and outfielders Franklin Gutierrez and Mike Wilson. Moore and Gutierrez are both rehabilitating from injuries.

The MLB roster rules for the trip are a little complicated, but both the Mariners and A's can take 30 players.

All 30 are available for the two exhibition games against the Hanshin Tigers and Yomiuri Giants on Saturday and Monday, but each team must set an active roster of 28 by 1 p.m. local time Wednesday in Japan on Opening Day, then designate 25 of those players to be eligible to play in the two-game Opening Series.

That active roster must include all players the teams expect to open the season with, so Millwood must be included in the 28. Thus, three players who are in Japan will be optioned or reassigned to the Minors on the morning of the opener, and two more will be designated as ineligible to play in the two games with the A's.

Once the club returns to Arizona, it will be back to a 28-man roster, and Seattle will need to make three more moves before regular-season play resumes on April 6 in Oakland. Other players already assigned to the Minors will be able to join the team to play in the five remaining Cactus League contests.

Greg Johns is a reporter for 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.