Mariners Mini Morsels: January 10

Tony La Russa told me that he has sent a letter and resume to the Mariners expressing his interest in becoming club president. But as Bob Nightengale at USAToday reported, the team is considering two internal candidates first. La Russa will become option only if M’s go outside. From: Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports


The Mariners are in the process of replacing president Chuck Armstrong, who is retiring at the end of the month. CEO Howard Lincoln said today that he believes they will have a successor named by then. The Mariners are furthering the search process in the next week by interviewing internal candidates. There has been no specific of who those internal candidates might be, but it’s fair to say that Kevin Mather, who is executive vice president of finance and ballpark operations, and Bob Aylward, who is executive vice president of business operations, are likely candidates.

[Tony] La Russa has worked the past two years as an official in MLB commissioner Bud Selig’s office. While he enjoyed the position, La Russa admitted he’s ready to join a team — most likely in a front-office position. “I’ve made it no secret to the commissioner,” he said. “I’ve been really pleased with the last two years to stay close to the game. But I miss the winning and losing without missing the dugout. So someday, I will be with a team.”

Might that someday be with the Mariners as team president? The organization is looking to replace Chuck Armstrong, who retires officially Jan. 31. “Those decisions get made by other people,” La Russa said. “I’d like to be part of the competition again. That place has got great potential.”

I have no favorite for this position. For me, I think the structure of the front office should be modified and the president’s responsibilities split into two entities – business and baseball. Two jobs, two different people that specialize in each area and have them work together. The Diamondbacks have a similar split. But Lincoln has said on multiple occasions that he has no plans to do that. Source:Ryan Divish at the Seattle Times


Tony La Russa is a candidate to become the Seattle Mariners’ next president, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported on Thursday. La Russa would not comment directly on the Mariners’ job. But La Russa, the former player and manager who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in December, did say that he would consider leaving his special assistant position with MLB for a front office. “I’m interested in getting to the competition upstairs,” La Russa said. “I’ve missed the competition since I left the field. I talked to the commissioner [BudSelig] about it. It’s not a thing where you miss the dugout, but I miss the winning and losing. The situation has to be right.” Source: Bob Nightengale at USAToday


So they said


“Hal Steinbrenner left the Yankees without a catcher in 2013, and that was one reason they finished in a tie for third in the American League East. He can’t leave them without an ace in 2014 and still claim to embrace the same win-at-almost-all-costs mentality that defined his old man.” Source: Ian O’Connor at ESPN New York


“If they come out and say it’s going to be the club that spends the most money on him, then we’re probably not the front-runner. But everything right now is pure speculation by the media.”Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers on Tanaka. Source: Nick Piecoro at the Arizona Republic


Mariner’s potential off-season targets


Diamondbackshave a scout who was teammates with Tanaka in Japan. Angels executive Hal Morris was teammate of Tanaka’s agent, Casey Close, at Michigan. Doubt any of it matters, but teams looking for edges. Close negotiated an “out” in Greinke’s deal and had same clause in Kershaw proposal. Would not be surprised to see similar structure for Tanaka, or perhaps even a huge average salary on a short deal. Would not be surprised to see similar structure for Tanaka, or perhaps even a huge average salary on a short deal. From: Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports


NL official says Tanaka landed in LA instead of Chicago because of weather. Anyway, he is apparently in US for grand tour of teams. From: David Waldstein at the New York Times


MLB sources tell that, contrary to an earlier report, the MLB club that signs sought-after Japanese RHP Masahiro Tanaka will pay the $20 million posting fee in four installments over 18 months. For Tanaka’s situation and any other player that draws a posting fee of over $10 million, the payment schedule would work as follows:

Payment One: 50% of the posting fee is due within 14 days of submission of the contact. For Tanaka, that would be $10 million due by February 7th, 2014. Payment Two: 17% of the posting fee is due within 6 months of submission of the contract. For Tanaka, that would be $3.4 million due by July 24th, 2014. Payment Three: 17% of the posting fee is due within 12 months of submission of the contract. For Tanaka, that would be $3.4 million due by January 24th, 2015.

Payment Four: 16% of the posting fee is due within 18 months of submission of the contract. For Tanaka, that would be $3.2 million due by July 24th, 2015.

This payment plan has been added to the new posting rules by MLB and NPB to allow smaller market clubs to more easily pay for top Japanese professional players. Source: Kiley McDaniel at MLB Scout


By The Numbers


Since 2012, most multi-hit games: Miguel Cabrera 116 – Robinson Cano 114 – Adrian Beltre 114 – Andrew McCutchen 113 – Mike Trout and Alex Gordon 112.

Since 2010, most multi-hit games: Miguel Cabrera 228 – Robinson Cano 223 – Adrián González 215 – Ichiro Suzuki 208 – Adrian Beltre and Martin Prado 204.

Since 2008, most multi-hit games: Ichiro Suzuki 339 – Robinson Cano 335 – Miguel Cabrera 331 – Dustin Pedroia 300 – Michael Young and Ryan Braun 299. Source: MLB Play Index‏


Mike Napoli saw 667 fastballs with runners on base last season, the most in baseball. He was followed y Joey Votto (655) and Dustin Pedroia (640). Source: The Bill Chuck Files


Baseball Biz


Everything of any significance regarding MLB is spelled out in the 2012-2016 BASIC AGREEMENT, commonly referred to as the CBA. If, like me until today, you have never cast eyes on the actual document you can read it in its totality here. You probably are not mentally challenged if you find it a hard slog to get a simple answer to most questions unless you are a lawyer and a CPA (as is my old Air Force buddy Bob) and even then a $500 an hour shyster unfamiliar with the document will probably cost you into four figures for the answer. Revenue Sharing or Competitive Balance (Luxury Tax) understanding can only be dreamed of by an average fan or blogger. Most numbers tossed around regarding baseball costs and income and MLB entities and relationships should be considered simplistic rough approximations by mere mortal beings. Are our Mariners considered payors or payees? Beats the hell out of me, maqman.


Alumni News


Phils signed former M’s MiLB’er SS Anthony Phillips. Played 3 games in Jackson in 2012. Played 124 games in High Desert last year. From: Chris Harris at Jackson Generals


“I don’t normally rail on announcers, but I remember when the Phillies brought Yuniesky Betancourt into spring training. I was watching a game and Sarge (recently replaced Phillies announcerGary Mathews) talked about how Betancourt was a very good fielder. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the extremely unlikely odds of two people named Yuniesky Betancourt, I would have figured he must be talking about a different guy with the same name.” FanGraphs post commenter “Billy”


Chat Review – Dave Cameron at FanGraphs


Comment From Bret: The Jays 2B hole was listed by Jeff the other day as one of the biggest holes on any contender. Since it seems the Jays want to earmark their money to pitching, Nick Franklin jumps out as an obvious solution. What’s a fair package from the Jays?

Dave Cameron: There’s not an obvious fit. The Mariners need good outfielders, but the Blue Jays don’t have any to spare, really.


Comment From JC: Does the HOF ever sever ties with the BBWAA and come up with a new panel of voters (perhaps including some writers) or is that bond too strong?

Dave Cameron: I think the HOF believes that the process is working wonderfully


Comment From Alex: Predict the landing spots for the following: Garza, E. Santana, Jimenez

Dave Cameron: Anaheim, Seattle, Toronto.


Comment From Matt: Sub-.500 team in ’13 most likely to make the playoffs in ’14?

Dave Cameron: Angels.


Comment From _David: Do the Mariners have the revenue to buy their way to some minimal level of having a chance at contention until they get the front office right?

Dave Cameron: That’s what they’re trying right now.


Comment From Sgt. Pepper: Can the Jays build a deal for Franklin around Gose? They probably need to add more but how close can Gose get them?

Dave Cameron: Considering Anthony Gose is terrible, I would say no.