Mariners re-sign Tom Wilhelmsen, acquire Wade LeBlanc from Blue Jays to bolster staff

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

DETROIT -- Seven months after being traded by Seattle, Tom Wilhelmsen is back with the Mariners.

As for what happened in between -- the right-handed reliever is hoping to put all that behind him.

"It wasn't pretty, no," he said Wednesday. "I could sit here and wonder why, wonder why, but the best part about this move is that that's over and done with, and there's no sense in looking back at it."

The Mariners have signed Wilhelmsen to a one-year deal after he declined an outright assignment by Texas earlier this month and was granted free agency. He went 2/3 with a 10.55 ERA in 21 appearances for the Rangers, but he was a solid reliever for the previous five seasons with Seattle.

The Mariners traded him in November in the deal that sent outfielder Leonys Martin from Texas to Seattle.

"There's no doubt I was a little heartbroken when I got sent away, but that's the nature of the game," Wilhelmsen said. "I was mighty happy here in Seattle, so I'm even happier to be back."

The Mariners also announced before Wednesday night's game at Detroit that they have acquired minor league left-hander Wade LeBlanc in a trade with Toronto.

To clear a roster spot for Wilhelmsen, Seattle transferred left-hander Charlie Furbush (left shoulder) to the 60-day disabled list and optioned right-hander Jonathan Aro to Triple-A Tacoma.

Wilhelmsen went 2-2 with a 3.19 ERA for the Mariners last season and had 13 saves. In 288 major league appearances, he's 13-13 with a 3.45 ERA and 67 saves.

LeBlanc was acquired in exchange for cash or a player to be named later. He was 7-2 with a 1.71 ERA in 14 starts with Triple-A Buffalo. He last pitched in the majors in 2014 with the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels.

Seattle might need a starter for Friday night's game against St. Louis, since right-hander Taijuan Walker's right foot has been bothering him. Manager Scott Servais said Walker would probably be able to pitch during the next homestand, but he was noncommittal about who would start if Walker isn't ready by Friday.

Servais also said star right-hander Felix Hernandez is making progress in his recovery from a right calf strain.

"I think he threw (Tuesday) out to 75 feet for about 7 or 8 minutes," Servais said. "He's picking up pace on his progression."


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