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Kirby Arnold | karnold@heraldnet.com
Published: Saturday, May 2, 2009, 6:43 p.m.

M's sign Nationals castoff Shell to minor-league deal

The Mariners have added another arm to their system, signing right-handed pitcher Steven Shell to a minor league contract and assigning him to Class AAA Tacoma.

Shell pitched in four games for the Washington Nationals but allowed five hits and two walks in five innings, with a 5.40 ERA, before they designated him for assignment.

Last year, he went 2-2, 2.16 in 39 relief appearances, so you could say he's now a Shell of his former self. Sorry.

Here's the official release from the Mariners:

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik announced today that the club has signed right-handed pitcher Steven Shell to a minor league contract. Shell will report to AAA Tacoma.

Shell, 26, made the Washington Nationals Opening Day roster and made four appearances out of the Nationals bullpen (0-0, 5.40). He was designated for assignment by the Nationals on April 20.

Shell made his Major League debut with the Nationals in 2008, going 2-2 with 2 saves and a 2.16 ERA (12 ER, 50.0 IP) in 39 appearances. His 2.16 ERA was tops in the National League and 3rd-best in the Majors among rookies logging at least 50.0 innings.

Shell was originally selected by the Angels in the 3rd round of the 2001 June draft out of El Reno (OK) High School. Coming up through the Angels system, he was named the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2004. He also pitched for Team USA in the 2007 IBAF World Cup and earned the win in the championship game.


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