Mariners give Nationals castoff Chris Young a rotation spot

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Released by the Nationals earlier this week, Chris Young has signed with the Mariners. And unlike most of these scenarios Young is actually getting a major-league deal and a spot in Seattle’s starting rotation.

Young is coming back from thoracic outlet syndrome and didn’t pitch in the majors at all last season, but he was relatively effective for the Mets in 2012 and the 6-foot-10 right-hander pitched decently in Nationals camp this spring.

Seattle planned to have Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker in the rotation as No. 2 and No. 3 starters, but both right-handers will instead begin the season on the disabled list. Their return timetables are basically Young’s window of opportunity to impress.

Mariners sweep A’s in two-game Japan Series

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The big news, of course, is Ichiro’s retirement. But there was a baseball game that counted today as well and the Mariners took it. Seattle beat Oakland 5-4 in 12 innings to sweep the two-game Japan Series.

Ichiro may have taken an 0-for-4 in his last game, but Ryon Healy and Mitch Haniger homered for the Mariners, staking Seattle to a 3-0 lead after three. The A’s picked up two in the fifth and Seattle added one via a Jay Bruce sac fly to make it 4-2 in the seventh. Oakland tied things back up, ultimately sending it to extras when Khris Davis singled in Matt Chapman in the seventh. Davis would blow a chance to put Oakland ahead in the 11th when he struck out with the bases loaded.

In the twelfth, Domingo Santana, who hit a grand slam in Seattle’s win in the opener on Wednesday, beat out a would-be double-play with the bases loaded to drive in the go-ahead and, ultimately, winning run.

The rebuilding Mariners are now 2-0 on the young year. The A’s, who won 97 games last year, are 0-2. Viva the smallest of sample sizes.