Seattle Mariners president Kevin Mather admitted during an event with the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club earlier this month that the club was not going to call up their top prospects last season for service-time reasons.
A video from the Feb. 5 event was posted on YouTube on Friday, but has since been removed.
\"If our major-league team had a COVID outbreak or injuries and we had to call people up from the taxi squad, we were a little short on players, because there was no chance you were going to see these young players at T-Mobile Park,\" Mather said.
\"We weren\'t going to put them on the 40-man roster, we weren\'t going to start the service-time clock. There were all kinds of reasons. If we would\'ve had an injury problem or COVID outbreak, you might\'ve seen my big tummy out there in left field. You would not have seen our young players, our prospects, playing at T-Mobile Park.\"
Mather issued a statement of apology on Sunday night.
Service-time manipulation is technically not against the rules but it is a bad-faith tactic between the teams and players.