Mariners Mini Morsels: December 15

Yep, I’m putting [the Mariners] on [the winning side] of the ledger, despite predictions of doom from many baseball people for the long-term marriage with Robinson Cano.” Obviously the 10-year, $240 million contract could haunt the Mariners at some point, but for a franchise desperate to boost declining fan interest and attract other premium players, signing one of the top players in the game was a gamble worth taking. The Mariners need to build around Cano to make this work, which means adding more than Corey Hart and Logan Morrison, but they have some good young prospects available to trade, and supposedly more money to spend as well. Source: John Harper at the New York Daily News


Just saw a guy in Minnesota with a Mariners hat on. The Robinson Cano era is already in full swing! From: Bobby Nightengale


Asked Jack Z about the numbers issues. After good chuckle about the implication, he said, “We are not trading Taijuan.” From: Ryan Divish at the Seattle Times


The Rays just signed James Loney for three more years, and thus their interest in any superfluous Mariners’ first basemen probably just went down Loney’s toilet. —ESPN


AL West Commentary

The Angels could use a designated hitter, particularly one that bats left-handed and could spell Albert Pujols” href=””>Albert Pujols at first base.

Kendrys Morales” href=””>Kendrys Morales, who played the first six years of his career in Anaheim, would appear to be a perfect fit. The Angels say they are not interested, because they need to rebuild a depleted minor league system, and they would have to forfeit their first-round draft choice to sign Morales. “We’re much more comfortable with the idea of maintaining our first-round pick and continuing to build the organization in a much more positive way,” General Manager Jerry Dipoto said.

The Angels appear to be much more interested in Raul Ibanez” href=””>Raul Ibanez, 41, who batted .242 with 29 home runs and a .793 OPS for the Seattle Mariners last season. Ibanez bats left-handed, and the Angels would not need to surrender a draft pick to sign him. Morales, 30, batted .277 with 23 home runs and a .785 OPS for Seattle last season. His OPS was higher than any Angels regular not named Mike Trout. The market for Morales is limited because teams increasingly prefer the flexibility to mix several players in that role to a high-salaried, one-dimensional player. Source: Bill Shaikin at the LA Times


So they said

“A major league team’s ability to spend these days is directly related to its local television deal, and the Pirates don’t measure up.” Source: Joe Starkey at thePittsburgh Tribune-Review

“As a person, Mark Trumbo is exceptionally normal. In the context of a professional athletes’ world of fast cars, big pay checks and daily hero-worshipping, he is exceptionally abnormal. He is stunningly even-keeled. If you ever hear that he has started a fight, cursed an umpire or publicly called out a teammate, you’ve heard wrong. When he hits a home run, he smiles. When he strikes out, he grimaces. It’s a professional range of emotion. The best description of him is the biggest cliche. He was raised right. We’ve never met his parents and we love them.” Bill Dwyre at the LA Times


“When you look at the composite of when (Mike Morse) is able to get out there, the results are tremendous,”  Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans on KNBR

“He’ll either miss most of the season or hit 28 homers. But he’s definitely worth the risk,” one industry source familiar with Morse said to Alex Pavlovic at the San Jose Mercury News


Mariner’s potential off-season targets

“It’s still a strong (first base market),” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. “Obviously Seattle’s move … it takes a couple of guys off the market but it might put one back on. In our minds there’s still some strength to it. We’ll continue to look to see if there’s something that makes us better.” Source: Travis Sawchik


Even with the Twins likely out on Garza, he has good market thanks to: 1) solid ’13 2) AL East pedigree 3) no draft attached. From:Jon Heyman at CBS Sports


“I’m a traditionalist,” [Pete Rose] said. “I thought the game has always been pretty good. About the only major changes they’ve made to the game since 1869 was when they lowered the mound after the 1968 season and the designated hitter. I mean, the game is going pretty good, isn’t it? “What’s next? Are they going to eliminate the takeout slide on double plays at second base?” Source: Hal McCoy at the Dayton Daily News


“Why don’t we just put dresses on catchers and move on?” —Comedian Bill Murray


By The Numbers

In 2003, Eric Gagne struck out 137 in 82.1 innings, walked 20, and allowed just two home runs. His FIP was 0.86. One homer was at Coors Field, when the Dodgers were already down by five runs. Source: YCPB You Cant Predict Baseball


Baseball History

The First Curved Coin from the United States Mint. The National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act (Public Law 112-152), signed into law on August 3, 2012, requires the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue up to: 50,000 $5 gold coins – 400,000 $1 silver coins – 750,000 half-dollar clad coins. These coins are being issued in recognition and celebration of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, which celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2014.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame Coins are scheduled to go on sale in early 2014. Surcharges for each coin sold are authorized to be paid to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, an independent not-for-profit educational institution, to help fund its operations. Surcharges per coin are: $35 for each gold coin – $10 for each silver coin – $5 for each half-dollar coin

From April 11-May 11, 2013, a nationwide competition was held to determine the obverse design for the coin.

Coin Designs

The common obverse (heads) design depicts a glove that, combined with the baseball design featured on the reverse, exemplifies the most basic elements of our national pastime or a simple game of catch in the backyard or at the local sandlot. The glove design also highlights the unique concavity of the coin. The winning design, submitted by Cassie McFarland, was selected from the finalists by the Department of the Treasury on September 4, 2013, after consultation with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. The common inscriptions on each coin’s obverse are LIBERTYIN GOD WE TRUST, and 2014. The obverse design was sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart.

Images and further details on the coins can be found here.


Alumni News

The Royals announced that they have signed outfielder Johermyn Chavez to minor-league contracts. Chavez, 24, has never appeared in the big leagues. He’s hit .261/.340/.438 in nearly 3,000 minor-league plate appearances.