Mariners Mini Morsels: Friday, December 13

…a point Mariners ace Felix Hernandez pounded home when the [he and Robinson Cano] spoke by phone prior to Cano’s agreement on a contract that will pay him $24 million a year through 2023. “He told me what was great about this organization,” Cano said. “He said they’re going to make you feel like family. They’ll take care of you. And that played a big role in my situation. You always want to be with people that treat you right. “I can’t explain how happy I am right now,” he said. “Not because of the contract, but just the way I’ve been embraced here by the Mariners organization.”

“It’s like you have a new house,” Cano said. “You can’t wait to get in and see it. I can’t wait to experience the organization and see what we can do.” Source: Greg Johns at MLB

 

“I’m looking forward to the future and joining the Mariners in Seattle! Thank you New York & my amazing fans for the support thru the years.” From: Robinson Cano

 

“No, I would never talk to him about 24,” Cano said (About taking Junior’s uniform number 24.). “He’s a guy you have to show respect. If that was going to happen, it would have to come from him. We all know what he meant to this city and who he was and what kind of player. He’s a future Hall of Famer. You don’t go to a Hall of Famer and ask, ‘Can I use your number?’ You have to show him respect.” Source: Greg Johns at MLB

 

Ellsbury wearing no 22. Clemens’ old number. From: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe

 

The Mariners’ new manager wanted to walk one block in the Emerald City’s SoDo neighborhood for a drink at Starbucks.

“It took me a half-hour,” McClendon said with a big smile that looked a lot like those of every Mariners employee in attendance on Thursday. “That’s how many people were coming up to me and expressing their joy. That’s how excited they are about what this represents for this team and this city.” Source: Greg Johns at MLB

 

“I think it can help an awful lot,” Zduriencik said. “We have elite pitching and we’re going to get better. But we didn’t have an elite player on the field. And I think, when you’re going to put that player there, if I am his teammate right now, I am some kind of pumped.”  Source: Greg Johns at MLB

 

The Blue Jays traded Rule 5 pick Brian Moran to Angels for international cap space. From: Jim Callis at MLB.com

(This gives the Angels two of the Mariners decent farm hands. They selected Jose Valdivia separately themselves.)

To get Moran, the Angels traded international draft allotments with Blue Jays, swapping $244,000 worth of spending space. Not sending money. From: Jeff Fletcher at the Orange County Register

 

The Mariners think that Hart might be adequate in the outfield, a belief that his former team, the Brewers, did not necessarily share. Some in the Seattle organization want to continue the Dustin Ackley experiment in center, and believe that new manager Lloyd McClendon will be an asset to their young hitters. But let’s face it, the Mariners’ failure to develop young talent is the reason they’re in this position. In any case, the M’s can’t stop now. They need to keep adding established talent to max out on the early years of Cano’s contract, when he still figures to be at his peak. The one area where they might (wisely) refrain is the bullpen market; the M’s originally planned to add a closer but now seem more inclined to use internal options. Source: Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports

 

AL West Commentary

Los Angeles Angels — Here’s the question: What was the ERA of all Angels starters not named Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson last season? The answer: A terrifying 4.90. The solution: That fascinating three-team deal this week that brought in Hector Santiago from the White Sox and Tyler Skaggs from the Diamondbacks — and also freed up money for the signing of Matt Garza or someone like him.

Granted, not everyone is confident that Skaggs will match the hype. But as one exec said.“It’s still a great trade. They got 150 percent of the value on dealing a guy like [Mark] Trumbo. And now their rotation is so much better than it was.” Is it too simple to say that the Angels’ 2014 season now comes down to whether they get their $373 million’s worth from Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton? Source: Jason Stark at ESPN [Insider needed and recommended]

 

So they said

Few will forget the 1865 Rule 5 Draft, when the Union reacquired the geographic equivalent of a Player to be Named Later. From:Old Hoss Radbourn

 

MLB, thank you for the new collision rule! I addressed this with MLB after Posey was nailed. It’s taken too long! From: Johnny Bench

 

“I just don’t know if this is the right approach,” said one AL exec. “What is this — the third incarnation of their [the Mariners] new, improved, middle-of-the-order offense? Every year, it seems like they’re trying to upgrade their offense. Maybe they should try something a little different, and just be all about dominating with their pitching. In their park, it’s always going to be about pitching.” Source: Jason Stark at ESPN [Insider needed and recommended]

 

Rival executives view the Hart and Morrison moves as somewhat incoherent; Jon Heyman at CBS Sports had a terrific line, saying the M’s acquired four knee surgeries in a span of 15 minutes. Source: Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports

 

Mariner’s potential off-season targets

[Dodgers president Stan] Kasten said the Dodgers fully expect to open spring training with all four outfielders — Matt Kemp” href=”http://www.latimes.com/topic/sports/baseball/matt-kemp-PESPT000010167.topic”>Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier” href=”http://www.latimes.com/topic/sports/baseball/andre-ethier-PESPT000010037.topic”>Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford” href=”http://www.latimes.com/topic/sports/baseball/carl-crawford-PESPT000009988.topic”>Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig” href=”http://www.latimes.com/topic/sports/baseball/yasiel-puig-PESPT0016785.topic”>Yasiel Puig. “I’ve always thought that was the most likely outcome,” Kasten said. “We don’t feel the need to move one like the people who write about us apparently feel we do.”

The Dodgers have a hole at third base, so gaping that even the team website features a blank rectangle where the picture of a third baseman would go. They have a half-empty bench, a bullpen short of left-handers, and no insurance if Cuban rookie Alexander Guerrero cannot handle second base. They have time to fill those needs, but Kasten said it was unlikely that they would do so by trading one of the outfielders. In fact, the Dodgers would rather trade an outfielder and pay off part of his contract to acquire young players — that is, buy prospects to further develop the farm system. “What would have interested us — and might still — is to trade one of our veterans,” Kasten said, again speaking generally, “if we can get back young, controllable players and prospects.” The Dodgers are so thin on prospects among position players that they would consider getting some in exchange for pitching prospects, Kasten said. Source: Bill Shaikin at the LA Times

 

The Red Sox have designated outfielder Alex Castellanos for assignment, the team announced.  The move creates 40-man roster space for Mike Napoli, whose new deal with the Sox became official today. Castellanos was acquired in an October trade with the Dodgers.  The 27-year-old was originally a tenth-round draft pick for the Cardinals in 2008, and he owns an impressive .288/.362/.502 slash line in 2529 PA over six minor league seasons in the St. Louis and Los Angeles farm systems.  Castellanos also has 43 Major League PA to his name, accumulated in cups of coffee with the Dodgers in 2012 and 2013. Source: Mark Polishuk at MLB Trade Rumors

 

International

Source: Other teams in Japan considering kicking in $ for Rakuten to make up for diminished posting fee on Tanaka, to move toward agreement. From: Buster Olney at ESPN

 

This is pretty awesome. Because the posting fee for Japanese players is now capped at $20 million, teams have a way lower incentive to post their players, as they used to be able to get way more. That’s been the hold-up for Rakuten, the team which is trying to decide if it will post Masahiro Tanaka. Is it worth losing the best pitcher they’ll likely have for decades for $20 million? Well, their competition is helping make that decision easier.

This is fantastic. I mean, yes, there may be other incentives at play here, but I’m going to choose to think that this is the equivalent of the other NL West teams paying the Dodgers to get rid of Clayton Kershaw or the AL Central teams banding together to encourage the Tigers to release Miguel Cabrera. Source: Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk

 

By The Numbers

Fun with numbers: The Rays will pay their entire projected starting OF roughly 1/3 of what Angels will pay Vernon Wells to play for the Yanks. From: Gabe Kapler

 

Alumni News

The Giants look at Morse as an everyday guy. Had to pledge that kind of role to sign him, given other interest. From Andrew Baggarly at CSN Bay Area

 

Morse, who hit .296/.345/.516 while averaging 30 home runs and 93 RBIs per 162 games played with the Nationals from 2010 to 2012, will take over leftfield full-time and provide a welcome source of power for a team that had just one player top 20 home runs in 2013. Source: Cliff Corcoran at Sports Illustrated

 

Brewers take 3B Vincent Catricala off A’s Double-A roster. From: Jane Lee at MLB.com

 

The D’Backs are also expected to sign veteran catcher Henry Blanco to a minor league deal with an invitation to the Major League Spring Training camp, Piecoro reports.  Blanco, 42, will return to Arizona after playing with the team as a backup in 2011-12.  Blanco posted a .474 OPS in 150 PA with the Mariners and Blue Jays in 2013 and MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes recently reported that Blanco is looking to play for one final season. Source: Mark Polishuk at MLB Trade Rumors

  • gmantacoma

    maq, love the Mini Morsels! Please keep it up!

    This Alex Castellanos guy sounds like an interesting player on the offensive side.
    His struggles in MLB and his bad outfield defense make him an ideal M.