Mariners sign 17-year-old Dominican prospect for $140,000

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They haven’t done much in free agency, but the Mariners have spent $140,000 to sign 17-year-old outfielder Luis Liberato out of the Dominican Republic.

Ben Badler of Baseball America describes the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Liberato as having “a mature approach to hitting from the left side with gap power and advanced baseball instincts for his age.” For now he’s a center fielder, but Badler writes that he could wind up in a corner spot eventually.

Michael Pineda throws off mound for first time since Tommy John surgery

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According to MLB.com associate reporter Jarrid Denney, right-hander Michael Pineda threw off a mound Wednesday morning at Target Field for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Pineda was signed to a two-year, $10 million free agent contract this winter by the Twins, who are probably more focused on what he might be able to do in 2019 rather than 2018.

He had the reconstructive elbow surgery last July 18, so he won’t be an option for the Minnesota rotation until probably late August or September of this year. Still, that deal seems like a nice gamble given the price point and the possibility that he will regain his form as a No. 2 or No. 3 starter. That he’s making steady progress in his rehab makes the situation all the more encouraging.

Pineda, 29, holds a 4.05 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 687 strikeouts in 680 career major league innings.