“The fans have been incredible. We owe them wins on the field,” Mariner’s new president Kevin Mather. From: Shannon Drayer at My Northwest
Outfielder Carlos Peguero, who played 65 games for the Mariners over the past three years, was traded to the Royals on Wednesday for a player to be named or cash, the club announced. Peguero, 26, had been designated for assignment on Jan. 16 to open a spot on the 40-man roster after Seattle signed free agent catcher John Buck. Peguero, who is out of Minor League options, has hit .195 with nine home runs and 27 RBIs in several different stints with the Mariners from 2011-13. Source: Greg Johns at MLB
Veteran right-hander Scott Baker agreed to a one-year Minor League contract with the Mariners with an invitation to Major League camp Wednesday, as the club looks to add to its competition in the starting rotation. Baker, 32, pitched just three games for the Cubs last September after returning from Tommy John surgery, but he is now nearly two years removed from the elbow injury that plagued him in 2012 while he was with the Twins. Baker passed his physical exam Wednesday and will report to Peoria, Arizona on February 12 with the rest of the Mariners’ pitchers and catchers.
The contract is for $1 million if Baker makes the Major League roster, according to MLB Daily Dish, with a potential $3.25 million in additional incentives. Source: Greg Johns at MLB
Nintendo’s President Satoru Iwata announced that he will cut his salary in half after the company recorded a tumble in profits. According to AFP, Satoru will receive half of his usual salary for the next five months, while Nintendo board members will receive a 20 to 30 percent cut in their salaries. The Japanese gaming console titan’s revenues dipped by 8.1 percent during the last nine months of 2013 following sluggish demand for the Wii U games console amid fierce competition from Microsoft’s Xbox One console and Sony’s Playstation 4. Source: AFP.com (Maybe they should sell some non-core assets and beautify their bottom line.)
Mariner’s potential off-season targets
Scott Boras indicated the Red Sox are one of “many teams” interested in South Korean pitcher Suk-min Yoon and says “we’ll know more in 10 days” From: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe
Bronson Arroyo said today that he hasn’t received an offer, but a source with direct knowledge says “don’t believe everything you read.” From: Chris Cotillo at MLB Daily Dish
Santana and Jimenez are looking to cash in on really successful 2013 campaigns. Burnett beat them in Wins Above Replacement. And Burnett was also good in 2012, when Santana and Jimenez were wrecks. Burnett is projected to be the best starter out of the free-agent pool, at least according to Steamer. Santana and Jimenez are projected to be fine, but Burnett is projected to be legitimately good.
One thing we don’t know is just how open Burnett will be to pitching somewhere other than Pittsburgh. If he wants to stay in the vicinity of his family on the East Coast, he’s probably not bolting for Seattle or Oakland. He’s not a true free agent in the usual sense of the term. But if he’s willing to pitch for other teams then that’s obviously somewhat bad news for Santana and Jimenez and the rest, because he represents increased supply with constant demand. He might now be another option for the Toronto Blue Jays. He’s clearly an option for the Baltimore Orioles. The Philadelphia Phillies have been rumored, and there are others who could check in. At the top of the class, Santana and Jimenez have a little less leverage because now there’ll be a little less desperation. Source: Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs
Draft and Prospects
Keith Law at ESPN [Insider needed and recommended] has ranked the Mariner’s farm system as the 21st of the 30 MLB teams. As he points out the M’s graduated three top prospects to the majors in 2013 in Mike Zunino, Nick Franklin and Brad Miller, so there’s less on the farm now after the two starting pitchers (Taijuan Walker and James Paxton) who are on the cusp of helping the big league team. Their Class A clubs will be the teams to watch if you’re looking for prospects. Law only ranks Taijuan Walker at 16th in his top 100 list.
Law ranked the Mariner’s top 10 prospects as: 1. Taijuan Walker, RHP (16) – 2. D.J. Peterson, 3B/1B – 3. Austin Wilson, OF – 4. James Paxton, LHP – 5. Tyler Pike, LHP – 6. Victor Sanchez, RHP – 7. Edwin Diaz, RHP – 8. Luiz Gohara, LHP – 9. Tyler Marlette, C – 10. Gabriel Guerrero, OF.
Baseball America has ranked the M’s top 10 prospects as: 1. Taijuan Walker, rhp – 2. D.J. Peterson, 3b – 3. James Paxton, lhp – 4. Luiz Gohara, lhp – 5. Edwin Diaz, rhp – 6. Austin Wilson, of – 7. Victor Sanchez, rhp – 8. Tyler Marlette, c – 9. Chris Taylor, ss – 10. Danny Hultzen, lhp.
Jason Parks at Baseball Prospectus in his Top 101 prospects list ranks: 8. Taijuan Walker, RHP, 2013 Ranking: 9. 65. D.J. Peterson, 3B, 2013 Ranking: N/A and 68. James Paxton, LHP, 2013 Ranking: 92.
Baseball Best Practice
Tom Verducci at Sports Illustrated has written a very thought provoking article entitled Baseball’s State of the Union: Some ways to improve the game. What follows are a few excerpts, every fan of the game should read the whole thing.
He states: For baseball, the State of the Union is a concern less for where it stands but more for where it may be headed.
“I think we’re at an obvious crossroads,” Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said, “especially with the change in the leadership in the commissioner’s office pending. The next five to seven years will be an important time that offers both challenges and opportunities.
“The aging and graying of baseball’s demographics is obviously a concern and has been for several years, but the opportunity it presents is interesting. The world of technology has only partially hit baseball and it’s going to change a lot of things, as it has in every industry it has touched. How baseball adapts to that and utilizes technology is a major challenge going forward.”
Said agent Scott Boras, “We are stepping out of one era and advancing into a new one. What we do have is fresh content seven days a week for eight months. We offer a dynamic that is seven times that of the NFL. The question is, how do we get the next generation?”
What happens as this young generation of discriminating viewers ages, the viewers occupied by football who don’t watch the World Series unless their favorite team is playing or unless there is a Game 7? Will they turn to baseball as they age and their lives slow down? Or does the lack of an emotional connection to baseball in their youth keep them forever apart from the sport? No one can be sure of that answer, not in these unprecedented times when culture changes so quickly and when entertainment choices grow so abundant. In such uncertain times, the greatest risk to take may be not taking one at all.
Comment From Ms Fan: Will Seattle end up with either Cruz or Morales?
Steve Adams: I get the feeling that they’ll end up with one more draft-pick FA (Morales, Cruz, Santana or Jimenez).
Comment From John: Why is no one talking about Michael Pineda coming back this year. If he pitches 180 innings will the Yankees make the playoffs?
Steve Adams: I’ve seen plenty of talk about Pineda coming back, but pencilling him in at 180 innings isn’t something anyone should be doing, and we have no idea how effective he’d be if he were to be able to take the mound. It’s been two years since he pitched in the Majors and he only has 170 MLB innings.
Comment From Fernando Rodney: Who signs me?
Steve Adams: Mariners or Orioles are my guesses.
Comment From Vinny: Cano’s playoff hopes are gone now and forget the HOF.
Steve Adams: Forget the Hall of Fame? It’s not like he’s suddenly going to hit .250/.320/.390 for the rest of his career, and his playoff hopes stretch beyond 2014. He signed a 10-year deal. Don’t overreact.
Comment From Big John: Nick Franklin for Jordan Walden?
Steve Adams: Franklin is worth more than Walden.
Comment From Evan: What do you think of a Nick Franklin for Chase Headley swap? That might make sense for the contending Mariners.
Steve Adams: Seattle loves Kyle Seager at third base, and rightfully so. Why go get a more expensive guy with less control?
Comment From Jeff: Astros, contenders in 20..?
Steve Adams: 16? But honestly, if their farm system hits like most expect, they could start surprising people sooner. Depends how quick some of the big names arrive, but Singleton, Springer, Appel… a lot of their big guys are close.
Comment From Guest: Quick who wins the AL West?
Steve Adams: Dead heat between the A’s and Rangers. Prior to Holland’s injury I might’ve voted differently, but I’m going with the A’s by a slight margin.