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Originally published January 31, 2005 at 12:00 AM | Page modified January 31, 2005 at 3:30 PM

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Mariners

Nelson will return to the Mariners

Reliever Jeff Nelson, who criticized the Seattle organization when he was traded during the 2003 season, is returning to the Mariners.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Reliever Jeff Nelson, who criticized the Seattle organization when he was traded during the 2003 season, is returning to the Mariners.

Nelson met with GM Bill Bavasi yesterday and worked out details of a minor-league contract with an invitation to report with pitchers and catchers to the team's spring training camp that in Peoria, Ariz. on Feb. 16. The club announced today that the deal had been completed, but no details were released.

The big right-hander was traded to the Yankees for reliever Armando Benitez on Aug.6, 2003, and ripped the club as he departed.

In his meetings yesterday at Safeco Field, Nelson apologized to team president Chuck Armstrong for his disparaging remarks at that time, reportedly saying he regretted having said them.

Bidding to make a bullpen that could be short on veterans, Nelson is just the third player to be with the Seattle club three times.

Infielder Mike Blowers was a Mariner, 1992-95, and again in 1997 and in 1999. Reliever Norm Charlton, who will be a roving minor-league instructor in the Seattle farm system this season, was with the Mariners, 1993-95, and as his career was interrupted by arm troubles, in 1997 and again in 2001.

Nelson was first with Seattle, 1992-95, and after helping the Mariners make the postseason for the first time was traded to the Yankees and won four World Series rings in five years in New York.

He returned to Seattle as a free agent after the 2000 season and working as in a righty/lefty setup tandem with Arthur Rhodes, helped the Mariners win 116 games in 2001 and make the postseason again.

Going back to New York in 2003, he was on another Yankees team to make the World Series, then signed with Texas as a free agent last year, going 1-2 with a 5.32 ERA in only 29 games.

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