Mariners Mini Morsels: January 21

Former Indians and Mariners manager Eric Wedge will likely take a network television job soon, take a year or two to regroup, see the baseball world from a different point of view, and refresh his perspective for another managerial run.

“It was a rough year. For my wife and my family,” said Wedge, the AL Manager of the Year in 2007 with the Indians, who still lives in Seattle but will soon move to Buffalo. “It was rough, but we got through it and all things are good.”

Some frustrating seasons in Seattle culminated with a bombshell story in the Seattle Times, in which Wedge exposed dysfunction in the Mariners’ front office. Wedge would not revisit the story but has no regrets. He felt he did the right thing and stood up for people he needed to defend.

“I definitely want to manage again. I know I’m going to miss it this year, but I’m also looking forward to maybe seeing baseball from a different perspective,” he said. Wedge was overwhelmed by support he received in Seattle after his stroke. He said he enjoyed his time there despite the frustrations. Wedge believes he still has a lot to offer as a manager, and feels he’s learned from his two previous stops. “I would love to get another chance. I can’t lie about that,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot. I enjoyed my time in Cleveland, as well. We did some good things there. It was a great organization.” Source: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe


Kiley McDaniel at MLB Scout ranks the current general managers in tiers based on their job security, and then gives his top 10 GM prospects. He polled over 50 people from the industry (internet writers, beat writers, agents, scouts and executives) and found that people with drastically different backgrounds and roles in the game agreed on an awful lot.

He listed five as “on the hot seat tier” saying that these GMs need to beat expectations this year to ensure they’re still running the club in 2015. At the bottom of that sub-set was: “Jack Zduriencik, Mariners: Many are surprised that Jack got another year, given the disaster the M’s have become. He now has a chance to follow in Pittsburgh’s footsteps and save his job with a playoff season but that looks really unlikely right now.”

Kiley also listed his Top 10 GM Prospects, which were:  Assistant GM’s Thad Levine, Rangers; David Forst, Athletics; Al Avila, Tigers; Michael Girsch Cardinals; John Coppolella, Braves; Mike Hazen, Red Sox; and Bryan Minniti, Nationals; as well as Jason McLeod, Senior VP of PD & Scouting, Cubs; Chaim Bloom, Director of Baseball Operations, Rays; and Dan Kantrovitz, Scouting Director, Cardinals. One of these names could replace Big Z before this year is over. My choice would be Girsch, who is highly respected for his work in making the Cards the game’s most admired team.


Mariner’s potential off-season targets

Cedrick Bowers, LHP, free agent — Starting to catch the eyes of scouts in Venezuela, Bowers is a reliever throwing 91-93 miles per hour. He ended last season in the Atlantic League, where he went 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 14 appearances. Source: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe


Delmon Young’s signing probably means there’s no chance the Orioles will sign Kendrys Morales now. Morales’ market has been hurt because of the perception that he’s only a DH and wil; require loss of a draft choice. Source: Rich Dubroff at CSN Baltimore
AL scout just told me that he believes Cubs offer is very strong but still believes that state of team will make it tough to land Tanaka. He also told me decision should come Tuesday/Wednesday so additional medicals happen. Deal must be finalized by 5 pm Friday. No exceptions. From: David Kaplan at CSN Chicago


The Mariners were definitely interested in Tanaka. But it appears the team may have been priced out of contention or Tanaka’s interest in Seattle wasn’t as high as some thought. I’m of the opinion that a contract of 6 years, $120 million (Diamondbacks reported offer) is just too much for a pitcher, who has never thrown a big league pitch. Source: Geoff Baker at the Seattle Times


Matt Garza, RHP, free agent — Garza awaits his fate after the Tanaka decision. Garza is a no compensation free agent, but teams have been reluctant to pony up a four- or five-year deal. Garza may have to settle for fewer years even with the price of pitching very high. “There may be concerns about him physically,” said one AL executive. “I think most teams are thinking four or five years is just too risky, even if he’s a no-compensation guy.” Source: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe


So they said

“Face it, why would any agent worth his driveway salt commit his client to a contract right now, knowing that whenever Tanaka chooses his North American team that there will now be four runners-up that need a starting pitcher? Teams know that. Agents know that.”  Source: Richard Griffin at the The Toronto Star


“For an organization that needs new ideas, why are the Seattle Mariners choosing to stay in-house for a new team president?” Source: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe


“What are we at the park for except to win?  I’d trip my mother.  I’d help her up, brusher her off, tell her I’m sorry.  But mother don’t make it to third.”  – Leo Durocher


Baseball Best Practice

Tony La Russa (who was on the committee that that set the new rules for TV replay) said, “People will see what a historic contribution it’s going to make to the competition. I think there will be more complaints about the limited use of it, rather than overuse that delays the game. The beauty to me is that what can be challenged is 90 percent of the (potential) misses. The criterion, for this year, though, is the dramatic game-changing play. We’re not trying to take mistakes out of it, whether they’re by umpires, pitchers, hitters or managers. And we’re not taking the arguments out. It’s just where the game changes or the competition changes because of a miss. That’s what the umpires want. That’s what we all want.” Source: Rick Hummel at the St Louis Post-Dispatch


By The Numbers

Ichiro Suzuki leads the majors with 2,080 hits; Michael Young is next with 1,925.” From: The Bill Chuck Files


Baseball Biz

Since 2008, the Yankees have won the most games in baseball, with 564. The Rays have won the second-most games in baseball, with 550. Over that span, the Yankees have out-spent the Rays by more than nine hundred million dollars. Source: Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs


Alumni News

Don’t be surprised if the Diamondbacks trade right-hander J.J. Putz following their addition of former White Sox closer Addison Reed. Putz is signed for $7 million in 2014, and the D-backs most likely would be required to accept a comparable salary in return. Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, earning $6.5 million, could be one possibility, though it is not known whether Yankees ownership would part with Suzuki or how he would adjust to a backup role. Putz also could be part of a trade for a starter such as the Brewers’ Yovani Gallardo if the D-backs fall short in other pursuits. Source: Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports