The Seattle Mariners claimed outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba – the older brother of Seahawks wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba – off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.
To clear a spot on the team's 40-man roster, the Mariners designated right-handed pitcher Darren McCaughan for assignment.
Smith-Njigba, 24, has appeared in 18 career games with the Pirates, with 15 appearances coming last season. Smith-Njigba was 4-for-32 (.125) with a double, triple and 5 RBI during two separate stints in the majors. In 105 games for Triple-A Indianapolis, Smith-Njigba hit .280 with 28 doubles, a triple, 15 home runs and 74 RBI with 53 walks and 21 stolen bases.
Smith-Njigba was a fourth-round pick of the New York Yankees in the 2017 MLB Draft out of Rockwall-Heath High School in the Dallas metro area. He was traded by the Yankees to Pittsburgh in 2021 and spent the last two seasons mostly Triple-A Indianapolis.
McCaughan, 27, has spent his entire professional career with the Mariners' organization and has been a regular with Triple-A Tacoma since the second half of the 2019 season.
McCaughan has made five total appearances with the Mariners, with two in 2019 and three last season. McCaughan has pitched 14 total innings with one start. He has a career 7.07 ERA with 11 runs allowed, seven walks and 12 strikeouts. In 25 starts last year with the Rainiers. McCaughan went 7-8 with a 5.83 ERA with 44 walks and 130 strikeouts.
McCaughan did get an invite to spring training with the Mariners as a non-roster invitee.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba was a first-round draft pick of the Seahawks last year. As a rookie, Smith-Njigba had 63 receptions for Seattle with 628 receiving yards and four touchdown receptions. The 63 catches are second-most by a rookie in Seahawks' history behind Joey Galloway's 67 receptions in 1995.
Mariners extend 33 invitations to non-roster players for spring training:
With players set to begin reporting to spring training next week, the Mariners announced on Wednesday they are inviting 33 players to major league spring training that aren't a part of their 40-man roster.
The full list of invitees include:
LHP Johnathan Diaz
LHP Holden Laws
LHP Kirby Snead
LHP Reid VanScoter
RHP Cory Abbott
RHP Heath Hembree
RHP Jimmy Joyce
RHP Joey Krehbiel
RHP Travis Kuhn
RHP Casey Lawrence
RHP Darren McCaughan
RHP Tyson Miller
RHP Marcelo Perez
C Jake Anchia
C Harry Ford
C Michael Papierski
C Matt Scheffler
OF Isiah Gilliam
OF Spencer Packard
OF Alberto Rodriguez