SEATTLE (AP) -The Mariners signed veteran infielder Miguel Cairo to a one-year contract Tuesday, giving starting second baseman Jose Lopez more prodding to improve.
The 33-year-old Cairo played 82 games for the New York Yankees and St. Louis last season and has been with four other major league teams, beginning with Toronto in 1996. He batted .253 in 2007 while starting 27 games combined at second base, shortstop, first base, third base and left field.
``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,'' Seattle general manager Bill Bavasi said, adding the move makes manager John McLaren's job easier.
``This should allow Mac more flexibility to use Miguel or Willie earlier in a game, if he wants, and still be covered late.''
Cairo's signing follows Bavasi's declaration five weeks ago that Lopez must improve in 2008. Lopez struggled with focus last season and was eventually benched after signing a $6 million deal.
This is the third consecutive spring training that Lopez, 24, will have a veteran pushing him for his job. In 2006, Seattle signed 36-year-old Fernando Vina. Last spring, Rey Ordonez was in camp after years out of baseball. But those signings were both minor league deals with invitations to spring training.
Cairo now has a spot on Seattle's 40-man roster.
``We need improved offense at second base. ... Whether we get someone else or take Jose and make him better, we have to get better there,'' Bavasi said in late November.
``He's a young kid finding his way still. From my point of view, it is more a focus issue than anything else.''
Advertisement

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Indians vs. Athletics Pick Can the Oakland Athletics pick up back-to-back wins over the Cleveland Indians when they meet today at 3:35PM ET?
Thumbnail Astros vs. Pirates Prediction Can the Astros pull off the upset on getaway day in Pittsburgh? First pitch is set for 12:35PM ET.
Thumbnail Tanaka, Yankees target sweep of Mariners The Mariners may be 20-10 in their past 30 contests at Safeco Field, but signs of weakness are cropping up at the worst possible time.
Thumbnail Arrieta, Cubs eye second straight W vs. Padres   Colorado served as an unforeseen stumbling block for the Cubs over the weekend. Yesterday, though, the majors’ top team returned to business as usual.
Thumbnail Indians vs. Athletics Pick The Cleveland Indians hope to not take a step back on the road when they face the Oakland Athletics at 10:05PM ET.
More inMLB Articles  
Advertisement

MLB Team Pages

Advertisement