“He’s [Logan Morrison] lost weight,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “He’s in great shape. He feels better than he’s felt in the last couple of years, but he’s coming off an injury. We have to be careful on how we handle that.” Source: Bob Dutton at The News Tribune
Potential Logan Morrison bonuses on top of $1.75M base break down as follows: $75K for 450 PA, $100K for 500, $100K for 550, $75K for 600. From: Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports
“A lot of positive developments and influences,” Zduriencik said. “The players see that we’re doing it right and it makes them think positively. It has impact.” Zduriencik thinks of the Seahawks’ success, but recognizes the reality of the situation. “Of course, I’m not foolish enough to say we’ll have the same results,” he said. But he also notes how he had been urged to deal Hernandez a few years back. “The way I saw it, teams are always looking for a starting pitcher to get them to the World Series … We already have one.” Just in case. Source: Marty Noble at MLB.com
(It takes more than one Jack.)
If the Mariners are going to overpay Nelson Cruz, they should do it today when the whole city is hung over and no one will notice. From: Dave Cameron at FanGraphs
How much is overpaying? From:Bob Dutton at The News Tribune
I’d say anything north of 2/16 is probably a waste. He’ll get more than that, I’m sure. From:Dave Cameron at FanGraphs
My guess is he lands 3/36 or something in that range. Not catastrophe that 5/75 would have been, but still not good. From: Dave Cameron at FanGraphs
AL West Commentary
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson still plans to appear at the Texas Rangers’ spring training, according to his baseball agent Mark Rodgers. The Rangers start spring training in Surprise, AZ on Feb. 16 when the pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report.
Wilson played baseball in high school and was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 41st round of the 2007 MLB draft before going to North Carolina State to play quarterback. Wilson was drafted again by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB draft and played second base in Single-A ball for two seasons with Tri-City and Asheville. The Rangers acquired Wilson from the Rockies in December in the MLB Rule 5 draft. Jon Morosi at Fox Sports
Source:Astros agree to deal with Jerome Williams, pending physical. From: Chris Cotillo at MLB Daily Dish
A federal bankruptcy judge Tuesday placed the parent company of Comcast SportsNet Houston under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, clearing the way for the start of what could be a contentious, complicated path to make the troubled regional sports network a financially profitable concern. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Marvin Isgur’s order came at the conclusion of a day-long hearing at which attorneys for Comcast and the Rockets asked that the case remain under bankruptcy court jurisdiction and the Astros asked that the case be dismissed.
Dismissal would have resulted in the almost certain demise of the 16-month-old network owned by the Astros, Rockets and Comcast, which is owned by a limited partnership known as Houston Regional Sports Network. Isgur’s order assures that the network will remain in operation while the three network partners work on a reorganization plan. A key to that plan will be arranging the carriage agreements that management has thus far been unable to arrange with such major carriers as DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T U-verse and Suddenlink. CSN Houston at present is available to no more than 40 percent of the Houston area’s 2.2 million TV households. Source: David Barron at the Houston Chronicle
Mariner’s potential off-season targets
Mariners seem very much in mix for Fernando Rodney. M’s were 19-29 in one-run games and a league-worst 6-15 in extra inning games. The Orioles also are a possibility.
“Apparently you didn’t watch Rodney pitch last year. Finding the plate is somewhat essential as closer. Thank God you’re not making the decisions.” —From blog commenter ramman at CBS
(Rodney walked 4.86/9 last season, in 2011 he walked 7.88/9 and struck out 7.31/9 for the Angels, they didn’t want him back, why should we want him?)
RHP Suk-Min Yoon threw about 30 pitches in front of Rangers and Cubs officials today. To throw bullpens for other teams in coming days. From: Evan Grant at the Dallas Morning News
Two pitchers who were expected to land big-dollar free agent deals this offseason – Ubaldo Jiménez and Ervin Santana – remain unsigned. While some have speculated that the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes held up deals for other front-end starters, there’s also the possibility that teams are simply afraid to commit significant resources to pitchers with such an inconsistent recent track record. Both Jiménez and Santana were below replacement level within the last two seasons; in 2012, Santana was worth -1.3 WAR, and Jiménez was -0.6 WAR. Last season, Santana was worth 2.9 WAR and Jiménez was worth 2.7 WAR. This recent track record of sub-replacement performance bodes poorly for their ability to land a lucrative free agent deal – in the history of free agency, only four starting pitchers have signed free agency deals with an average annual value of $10 million or more after posting a below-replacement level season in at least one of the two preceding seasons. Source: Justin Havens at ESPN [Insider needed and recommended]
Santana is said to have dropped significantly, perhaps to a three-year deal. Was over $100 million in November. From: Buster Olney at ESPN
It has been more than a month since any free agent who turned down a qualifying offer has signed, with five remaining on the table – Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana, Nelson Cruz, Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales. The players scheduled to hit the market next fall can draw an important lesson from this group: Don’t get caught in the “Dead Zone.”
If you’re traded during the season, as Matt Garza was last winter, then your team can’t extend a qualifying offer, and you avoid draft-pick purgatory. If you have a great season, as Shin-Soo Choo did, then you shift out of the Dead Zone. But if you are a good veteran who has a solid season — but not a great season — well, then you might get stuck. Source: Buster Olney at ESPN [Insider needed and recommended]
Sources:Dodgers remain in active talks with free agent starter Bronson Arroyo. From: Jon Morosi at Fox Sports
Draft, Prospects & Farm News
The Mariners still have a pressing need for an impact right-handed bat, preferably one they can stash in their outfield. And, yes, they remain linked in the ever-grinding rumor mill to free agent Nelson Cruz. But if a Cruz deal, or something similar, fails to materialize, well, again … why not [Stefen] Romero? “We’ve talked about Stefen all winter,” Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik agreed. “This guy could really be a player for us. He gives you power. He gives you the ability to hit. It’s up to him.” Romero was among the handful of “future stars” the Mariners brought to Safeco Field in late January for their two-day FanFest. If nothing else, that suggests he is in line for a long spring look.
“We were awfully left-handed last year,” new Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. “So we need some balance. We’ve talked about right-handed bats and where we get that from.” It’s a pivotal year for Romero, who at 25 is at that age where evaluations tend to shift firmly from potential to production; i.e., from being a prospect to a player. A year ago, Romero entered camp as a top prospect after a breakout minor league season in which he batted .352 with 23 homers and 101 RBI while splitting 116 games between Class A High Desert and Class AA Jackson. He then flexed some early spring muscle before suffering a strained left oblique injury. Shortly after he returned to active duty in mid-April, the Mariners shifted him from second base to left field at Class AAA Tacoma. Source: Bob Dutton at The News Tribune
Baseball Best Practice
Source:MLB, MLBPA going through annual review of Joint Drug Agreement. Possibility of increased penalties is among topics under discussion. From: Jon Morosi at Fox Sports
Kansas City Royals get Best Baseball Billboard for this one featuring Alex Gordon.
The Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers are the leading contenders among four or five teams interested in Korean pitcher Suk-min Yoon, reports the Korean JoongAng Daily. Andrew Rickli of SportsReel Boston reports the Rangers are showing interest, especially following Derek Holland’s surgery for a knee injury.
The 27-year-old right-hander, considered the Korean league’s best pitcher, threw in a tryout for the Orioles and Giants on Saturday in California. Yoon reportedly was out to show MLB teams he is healthy amidst questions of his durability.
In nine seasons in Korea, Yoon has pitched 11 complete games and six shutouts in 1,129 innings, with an ERA of 3.19. He injured his Achilles’ tendon and right shoulder in 2009 following his second season as a starter. His career best — 17-5 record with a 2.45 ERA and 178 strikeouts in 2011 — earned him the league’s Most Valuable Player award.
By The Numbers
Since 2000, its first full season, here is how Safeco Field has ranked among the 30 major league parks in slugging percentage: 28, 29, 23, 28, 25, 27, 25, 20, 22, 26, 30, 28, 30, 17. (The park did play slightly fairer last year because the fences were brought in.) Measured by its effect on home runs, rather than raw numbers, Safeco Field in the past decade has ranked 21, 29, 13, 29, 24, 20, 16, 18, 26, 14. Source: Tom Verducci at Sports Illustrated
Highest line-drive rate in 2013- James Loney 28%, Matt Carpenter 27%, Gregor Blanco, Joey Votto, Austin Jackson, Freddie Freeman 26%. Source: ESPN Stats & Info