“It’s time for us to start winning baseball games,’’ Zduriencik said. Source: Kevin Kernan at the New York Post (It’s way past time Jack.)
MLB.com: People want to win now. But how important is it to keep that long-range view at the same time?
Mather: I had dinner with Jack, and I don’t know if we had that exact conversation, but he’s planning on working with me for a long time. He said, “I want to grow old with you on this job, Kevin.” And I said “I’m looking forward to that.” Source: Greg Johns at MLB
McClendon reiterated that Franklin and Miller will compete at shortstop this spring, with no thought of moving either into the outfield. “We’ve got a pretty crowded outfield,” he said. “There’s a lot of talented outfielders as it is. And that’s a good problem to have. At the end of the day if we’re sitting here in late March and we have real, real tough decisions to make, that’s good for the Seattle Mariners. I hope the decisions are not easy. I hope they’re real tough. I’ll take that.” Source: Greg Johns at MLB
While Hernandez and Walker got most — or all — of the attention, pitching coach Rick Waits said Medina was impressive as well. “He’s a guy that likes to get in here and play a lot of long toss before he gets on the mound,” Waits said. “Medina looked really good today, really sharp. It was fun. What a pleasure, for as many years as I’ve got in the game, to see those three guys on the mound at the same time.”
Hernandez gave Walker some tips on how to keep his changeup down, but the Mariners’ ace said he doesn’t need to do much coaching with Walker or fellow rookie James Paxton. Asked if both have a chance to make the opening rotation, Hernandez left little doubt. “They will,” he said. “They have a lot of talent. The advice is just to keep working hard and do your thing. That’s all they have to do.”
Waits, who has been the club’s Minor League pitching coordinator the past three years, sounded just as certain when asked if Walker and Paxton are prepared to compete at the Major League level. “Yes,” he said. “I don’t even need to elaborate. I think they’re ready. Will they leave with us? We’ll see. I mean, that’s up to Lloyd. But mentally and preparedness? Yes, I think they are. Our Minor League coaches have done a great job with them.” Source: Greg Johns at MLB
Kendrys Morales status: Don’t rule out Seattle. Word is Duquette can’t get financial go-ahead and Pittsburgh won’t part with the draft pick. From: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe (I for one would like to see him back.)
Got to give the Mariners credit. They realized they couldn’t stop at Robinson Cano, so they’re at least pursuing Nelson Cruz and either Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana to upgrade the pitching staff. If they land Cruz and another pitcher, they may have a contender. Source: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe
“One thing I know, the manager doesn’t make out the lineup,” McClendon said. “If you go out and go 3-for-4 and hit a home run and drive in four runs, somehow your name is in the lineup the next day. Your performance on the field will dictate what the lineup is. I’d be a fool not to put the guys out there that I think will give me the best opportunity to win on a daily basis. This is one of the messages I said to my club. This is a result-oriented business. This is not about development at this level; it’s about winning games. And we have to win games. You want to be developed, we’ll send you back to the Minor Leagues and you can do all the developing you want to do.” Source: Greg Johns at MLB
25. Lloyd McClendon, Mariners — A good man who deserved a second chance. From: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe ranking the 30 MLB managers.
Asked Brad Miller if he spent some time in the weight room, he said, “I got lost in there.” He is up to 213, having added about 10 lbs of muscle. Ryan Divish at the Seattle Times
McClendon says Nick Franklin and Brad Miller will compete at SS. Not looking at moving either elsewhere. “That’s a good problem to have.” From: Ryan Divish at the Seattle Times
When asked about Taijuan Walker and James Paxton making the rotation, Felix Hernandez replied, “They’re in.” From: Ryan Divish at the Seattle Times
So they said
“I found that you don’t have to be perfect,” Paxton said. “You don’t have to nibble on the corners so much, you can get those guys out in the strike zone. I didn’t necessarily have to be on the black. It was just get it on the outer third of the plate and make sure it’s down in the zone. Just go right at guys.” Source:Ryan Divish at the Seattle Times
Mariner’s potential off-season targets
Nelson Cruz, OF, free agent — The Mariners remain the best bet for Cruz’s services, but they have spent a couple of days exploring pitching depth on Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Chris Capuano. The Mariners seem to be the one team willing to extend to a multiyear deal, but are trying to keep the average annual value down to a much lower figure than the Cruz camp is asking. The Orioles and Rangers remain on the periphery. Source: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe
The Mariners are talking to free-agent pitcher Chris Capuano about a possible deal. Nothing is done yet, but Seattle has shown decent interest in Capuano. There still may be a difference of opinion over the price but discussions are ongoing, according to people familiar with the talks. Reportedly, the veteran lefty has been seeking a two-year deal. He went 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA last season for the Dodgers and made $6 Million but won 23 games the previous two years for the Mets and Dodgers.
Seattle also has had discussions with top free-agent starters Ubaldo Jimenez, who agreed to a $50 million, four-year deal with the Orioles, and Ervin Santana. If the Capuano talks bear fruit, that could leave more money to sign a hitter, such as Kendrys Morales. Source: Jon Heyman at CBS Sports (About time!)
Draft, Prospects & Farm News
Kiley McDaniel at MLB Scout has put up his free evaluation of the Mariners’ top 20 prospects at http://sbb.scout.com/2/1376035.html Interestingly he includes projected financial value of the players as well. This reinforces the values of draft picks lost in signing free agents, which should be considered along with the contracts cost of the free agent.
By The Numbers
Yankees outfielder Alfonso Soriano is the Cubs’ highest-paid player, with Chicago paying $13 million of his $18 million salary. Source: The Bill Chuck Files
Among the 81 pitchers who qualified for the ERA title last season, [Ubaldo] Jimenez ranked 78th in pitches per inning, at 17.3. Source: Buster Olney at ESPN [Insider needed and recommended]
Fascinating survey on baseball conducted by Repucom, a sports marketing firm. Here are some of the findings: Major league baseball has the second-largest fan base of the major sports, behind only the NFL. It is second in the number of avid fans as well, with 47 percent of their overall fan base. This is higher than NBA and right behind the NFL . . . The top five teams in terms of fan base size are the Yankees (11.9 percent of baseball fans), Red Sox (6.8 percent), Braves (6.8 percent), Cubs (5.2 percent), and Tigers (4.9 percent) . . . Baseball fans love to attend games, with 21 percent saying they have attended at least one game in the last 12 months. This is more than both the NBA and NFL . . . Baseball fans are less active on social media than NBA or NFL fans. Source: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe
Major League Baseball has given Detroit Tigers minor-leaguer Ronny Paulino a 100-game suspension after he tested positive for exogenous Testosterone, the league announced Wednesday. Paulino, 32, is currently on the Triple A roster of the Toledo Mud Hens. He’s batted .272 in 572 games in eight MLB seasons with the Pirates, Marlins, Mets and Orioles. He signed with the Mariners after the 2012 season but was released prior to the 2013 season. Source: Tim Polzer at Sports Illustrated
Lefty Oliver Perez is deciding between four (unknown) teams. Should make a decision soon. Source: Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe
The Royals claimed Jimmy Paredes off waivers. Maikel Cleto was DFA’d to make room according to Andy McCullough at The Star-Ledger Cleto was originally signed by the Mets and traded to the Mariners in the J.J. Putz deal before being dealt to St. Louis in exchange for Brendan Ryan.