On Dec. 7, pitcher Sean White was selected by Pittsburgh from the Atlanta organization in the Rule 5 Draft. Less than an hour later, the Pullman, Wash., native, who played collegiately at the University of Washington, was traded to Seattle. After making the Mariners' roster out of Spring Training, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound right-hander made his big-league debut on April 4 at Safeco Field. He recently answered some questions from MLBPLAYERS.com.
MLBPLAYERS.com: How do you look back on Dec. 7 -- the day you changed teams twice?
White: With the Rule 5 Draft coming up, I didn't know really what to expect. I didn't know if I would get picked up by a club or not, but I knew there was a chance. I got a call pretty early that day from my agent and he told me that Pittsburgh had picked me up. I was extremely excited and saw it as a great opportunity. Then, 20 minutes later, I got a call from the Mariners telling me they had just traded for me.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Were you in Seattle when you got that call?
White: Yes. I had a cup of coffee and had been on the phone calling my family to tell them that I had been picked up by Pittsburgh. While I was doing that, the call about the Seattle deal came in. I was excited about the Pittsburgh news, but the Seattle news was a whole lot better.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Were you surprised more about going in the Rule 5 Draft, or about the subsequent trade to Seattle?
White: I would say the trade to the Mariners. It's my hometown team and I grew up watching them. It has been a nice opportunity to come here and to make this team.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Since you live in Seattle year-round, did you get to work out at Safeco Field over the winter following the trade?
White: Yes and that was great. It was real nice. I went there nearly every day and worked out with the trainers, with the strength and conditioning coaches, to get my arm stronger. I put myself in a good position physically, and that has helped me.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Have you approached this season of being a "Rule 5 guy" any differently from any other season you have been a part of?
White: No. It's one of those things where you have to go out there and you have to prove to people that you belong here. I think I've shown them I want the ball and that I want to help this team win.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Pressure is always associated with professional baseball. Do you feel any additional pressure because you were selected in the Rule 5 Draft?
White: I try not to think about that. I really take every day in stride and take things one day at a time. When I get the ball, my job is to go out there and do the things that have made me successful -- throw strikes and keep the ball down.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Prior to joining your new club, did you know any of the guys on the team?
White: I knew Chris Reitsma and Horacio Ramirez, who also came from Atlanta.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Did you expect to compete for a spot as a starter or as a reliever?
White: Originally, I thought there might be a chance as a starter. Then they made some more deals after I was acquired. As time when on, it seemed more likely my best opportunity might come as a reliever.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Away from the field, what do you like to do in the Seattle area for fun?
White: I love to golf. I also like to take trips to Idaho to go and fly-fish. Some things that I liked to do, like going skiing, I can't do right now. I wish I could, but it's just a little dangerous. I can't afford to get hurt and I can't afford to put myself in a situation like that.
MLBPLAYERS.com: As a Mariners fan growing up, who was your favorite player and why?
White: [Ken] Griffey [Jr.] -- I loved watching him play. He was by far my favorite player while growing up.
Jeff Moeller is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.