It has been leaked and counter-leaked that Kendrys Morales will receive a Qualifying Offer and will not accept it. He did not accept his counter offer. The offer (worth about $13.8MM) had to be made within five days after the World Series concludes, and Morales and his agent Scott Boras had one week to accept or reject the offer. When Kendrys Morales signs with another team, the Mariners will receive that other team’s first round draft pick a pick in the supplemental round after the first round. If the team signing him has already surrendered their first round pick to sign another player, as the Indians did last year by signing Nick Swisher and Michael Bourne, then the M’s still get their compensation pick in the supplemental round. If the M’s sign a free agent such as Shin-Soo Choo or Jacoby Ellsbury that have received and rejected a QO, they can’t lose their own top-10 first round pick, nor their previously attained supplemental round pick, as pointed out by reader Bat671, because both are protected.
Dave Martinez, the Rays bench coach since 2008 has had a great mentor. Chip Hale, the 48-year-old bench coach for the A’s, started coaching under Bob Melvin in 2008. Jeff Banister, age 48, is the Pirates bench coach and has been with the Pirates for his whole career as player and coach. Each of these guys is familiar with what has gone into their current team’s success. Helping create a winner is a pretty good recommendation to me.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says that: “Three names believed to be on the Mariners‘ lengthy list include A’s coach Chip Hale, Giants coach Ron Wotus plus Pete Mackanin, the ex-Reds interim manager who was announced Tuesday as Ryne Sandberg‘s third base coach in Philadelphia. Those are just three of probably close to a couple dozen names on their list, though. Interviews are not expected to commence for another week or so for the job Eric Wedge bizarrely vacated one day after saying he’d like to be back managing the team.”
AL West Commentary
“Catching is an area that we need to address, as is our offense and run production in general, and there’s a couple different spots we can look to add some offense. I think you’re always in the market for pitching.” —Rangers President of Baseball Operations Jon Daniels
“The Los Angeles Angels will bring back manager Mike Scioscia and general manager Jerry Dipoto for next season, but will not retain bench coach Rob Picciolo and hitting coach Jim Eppard, the team announced Tuesday. Scioscia is signed through 2018 and Dipoto will be entering the final year of his deal in 2014. The Angels went 78-84 in 2013, finishing 18 games behind the Oakland Athletics in the American League West.” —Scooby Axson at Sports Illustrated
“[David] Price is two years away from free agency. Both Matt Garza and James Shields were two years away from free agency when the Rays traded them, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they traded Price as well. If the Rangers were interested, [Jurickson] Profar would only be the beginning of the package. The Rays acquired outfielder Wil Myers along with three other prospects [Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery, third baseman Patrick Leonard and a PTBNL] from the Royals for Shields [and Wade Davis]. So if Profar goes, so too will a top pitching prospect like Luke Jackson and one of those big bats the Rangers have in the lower part of their farm system.” —T.R. Sullivan the Ranger’s beat writer at MLB.com
Baseball Best Practice
“This season, the Mets started working with KinaTrax, a motion-capture technology company designed to track pitcher delivery and biomechanics. To date, the Brewers and Orioles are the only teams currently spending money on biomechanical evaluations on all their pitchers, injury expert Will Carroll told me in August. According to people with the company, the Mets were KinaTrax’s first MLB partner.
They installed cameras around Citi Field and have been tracking pitchers since early summer. The goal is to collect data on how pitcher mechanics impact the game, how they compare from season to season and what that information can say about a pitcher’s overall health. KinaTrax has said their data cannot necessarily identify when an injury or breakdown may occur. (Issues can develop from Little League onward) However, that appears to be their ultimate goal, as they look to build out the technology over time.” —Matthew Cerrone at Metsblog
So they said
Will the Yankees give Robinson Cano a 10-year deal? “I don’t feel this organization is ready to do something like that,” Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said on ESPN Radio. “No, I do not. We’ll see. I know that is a number that is out there now. We’ll see if he gets it, how much he wants to be in New York. But, again, I can promise it is going to be a very, very solid offer that we do make because we are going to try. We are going to try the best we can to keep him.” —Scooby Axson at Sports Illustrated
“Forget the Cowboys; it feels like the Pirates are America’s Team.” —Buster Olney at ESPN
T.R. Sullivan, the Ranger’s beat writer at MLB.com, shares his opinions: “[Max]”Scherzer is the favorite to win the Cy Young Award simply because he won 21 games and the Tigers were division champions. To the victors go the spoils. As far as the other numbers, Darvish, Hisashi Iwakuma of the Mariners and Bartolo Colon of the Athletics are right there with Scherzer, and nobody else really leaps out. But after watching Darvish in 2013, it’s hard to believe that’s really what a Cy Young season looks like. As far as the Rangers’ Pitcher of the Year, my vote went to closer Joe Nathan.
Mariner’s potential off-season targets
“We all know the trouble the Rangers had to consistently score runs. And you could make the argument that [Nelson] Cruz‘s value actually increased while he was suspended for 50 games because his team struggled to do much without him in the middle of the lineup in September.” —Richard Durrett at ESPN Dallas/Fort Worth
Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York thinks that Don Mattingly would be the Yankees first choice to replace Joe Girardi in the event Girardi is gone, although the Dodgers will have something to say about that. His next two prospects are: Pete Mackanin – Marchand says, “This is a wild-card candidate, but a guy whom Brian Cashman is said to love. Mackanin managed the Pirates for 30 games in 2005, he was Charlie Manuel‘s bench coach in Philadelphia, and has interviewed for a number of jobs. Mackanin, 62, a current Yankee scout, is the type of outside-the-box candidate whom some in the organization may favor. Upper management may want a bigger name, though.
Tony Pena is Girardi’s bench coach and got the bronze medal the last time the Yankees’ job was open. Pena is very personable, but I’m not sure Cashman would turn to him. On the coaching staff, the Yankees have a few guys, from Kevin Long to Rob Thomson, who could one day manage. Cashman, though, will probably want more experience. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild has managed before in Tampa.”
By the numbers
The Mariners‘ bullpen struggled with a 4.58 ERA, the second-worst mark in the Majors (ahead of only the Astros’ 4.92). But Seattle clearly has some outstanding power arms in the ‘pen, as they led the Majors with 535 strikeouts and ranked second with 9.53 strikeouts-per-nine-innings, both club records.
In fact, the 535 strikeouts tied an American League record with the 2012 Royals. Farquhar (fourth at 12.77), Oliver Perez (sixth at 12.57) and Charlie Furbush (14th at 11.08) ranked in the top 15 in the AL for relievers’ strikeouts-per-nine innings. —Greg Johns at MLB.com
Carlos Beltran has averaged a home run every 8.5 postseason at-bats, which ranks first in MLB history. Manny Ramirez has hit the most home runs in postseason history, with 29 taters. —ESPN Stats & Info
A look at the Yankees [YES Network] viewership since 2007 shows a troubling trend that did not start with this year’s disappointing finish. There were 454,000 viewers six years ago, but 210,000 — nearly half — have since departed.
Part of that drop might be attributable to fans being bored with winning and the empire slowly fraying. Some fans might have switched to watching on laptops and mobile devices; that use is not measured by Nielsen. There could be a quirk in the way Nielsen measures television viewing. Or fans might be watching less of each game, which reduces viewership.
Mike Axisa, the editor in chief of the Yankees blog River Avenue Blues, said: “My generation of fans, when I was 11 or 12, when the Yankees started getting really good, were easy to hook on to and a lot of fans jumped on the bandwagon. Now, the interest just isn’t there.” —Richard Sandomir at the NY Times
“[Mike] Morse missed five weeks this season with a quadriceps injury, and he was in a 3-for-34 slump before changing teams. He collected only three hits in 29 at-bats with the Orioles, none for extra bases, before being shut down with a wrist injury that might require surgery. Morse never became the regular DH, with manager Buck Showalter limiting him to starts against left-handers. Showalter wasn’t aware of the wrist injury until the final week of the season, and Morse didn’t play after Sept. 22. The Orioles aren’t expected to pursue Morse in free agency, but he could be a bargain. It’s not like he has much leverage after batting .215/.270/.381 with 13 homers and 27 RBIs in 88 games. And the Orioles want someone who can play a few positions rather than clog up the DH spot. The challenge is figuring out whether you’re getting the 2013 Morse or the guy who hit .303/.360/.550 with 31 homers and 95 RBIs in 146 games with the Nationals in 2011.” —Roch Kubatko at MASN