Mike Wilson returns on Minor League deal

There was a familiar face back in the Mariners clubhouse at Spring Training on Saturday as outfielder  Mike Wilson, who was designated for assignment 12 days ago, rejoined the club on Saturday after having his contract outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma.

Wilson accepted the Minor League deal and was invited to the big league camp, where position players hit the field for the first time Saturday. The Mariners now have 67 players in camp, including 27 non-roster invitees.

Wilson, 28, has spent his entire pro career in the Mariners organization and made his Major League debut last year when he hit .148 in 27 at-bats over eight games in May.

Wilson said he looked into going elsewhere before deciding to stick with the Mariners, who selected him in the second round of the 2001 Draft. He was designated for assignment along with catcher Chris Gimenez on Feb. 6  in order to make room on the 40-man roster for free-agent relievers Shawn Camp and Hong-Chih Kuo.

“It’s tough, but it’s a business and moves have to be made,” said Wilson. “All I can do is come back ready to work. I can’t stay mad about it. I just have to focus on the utlimate goal of getting back to the big leagues.

“We looked at places, but with the timing and stuff, rosters were already set. That’s the toughest thing about it.”

Wilson hit .331 with 16 home runs and 49 RBIs in 87 games with Tacoma last year, but after 10 years in the Minors, he’s itching for a shot at a full-time Major League opportunity.

“Yeah, I’m just trying to get back there,” he said. “That’s it. Of course there are other teams, but you want to make it with the team you’re with.”

Manager Eric Wedge is meeting with the club this morning before they hit the field for the first time as a full squad about 10 a.m. MT, or 9 a.m. PT.

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