Friday, February 29, 2008

Around the League; February 29, 2008

Time for today's roundup, on this extra day that is brought to you by 'leap year', 'adding an extra day to your year, every four years'.
  • Today's Spring Training scores: Bal 7 FLA 5; CLE 3 HOU 4; DET 3 TOR 1; FLA 4 WSH 1; LAD 3 ATL 10; PHI 5 PIT 4; TB 7 CIN 6; STL 5 NYM 4; LAA 3 TEX 2; CWS 7 ARI 5; KC 13 SD 9; MIL 4 OAK 11; SF 8 CHC 6; BOS 8 MIN 3.
  •'s Jon Heyman is reporting that the Tigers, I almost typed Marlins, have begun to talk to Miguel Cabrera about an extension. No numbers or amounts are known.
  • Royals GM Dayton Moore denies interest in Sosa, saying that his team is not interested in acquiring any free agents as of right now. Too bad for Sammy. He got his 600 HR's so can't he retire now?
  • Jeff Zrebiec and Roch Kubatko of the Baltimore Sun are on top of the Brian Roberts situation. The Cubs had a pair of scouts watching Roberts play yesterday. The Orioles are asking for Ronny Cedeno and Sean Gallagher, and maybe Jose Ceda or Donald Veal as a third player. A fourth player may be discussed.
  • To top this off, just reminding you readers that Mariners Central has a new email set up, so feel free to drop me a line at marinerscentral"at" Feel free to send me your thoughts, and basically anything Mariners, or pretty much baseball.
    Sidenote: Sorry but I didn't know if I should link the email or not, so you may have to do some copy and pasting.

Mariners 5 Giants 3; Bedard's Spring Training Debut

The Mariners have defeated the Gaints 5-3 in the M's first Spring Training game. Newcomer Erik Bedard made his debut, pitching two innings, but gave up all three of the San Francisco runs.


M Cairo 2b 3 0 1 0
T Hulett 2b 2 1 2 0
J Reed cf 2 0 0 0
B Sardinha cf 3 0 0 0
R Ibanez lf 2 0 1 0
C Jimerson lf 3 1 1 0
R Sexson 1b 2 0 1 0
B LaHair pr-1b 1 2 1 1
G Norton dh 2 0 0 1
M Kiger pr-dh 1 1 0 0
K Johjima c 2 0 0 0
J Clement c 2 0 2 0
W Balentien rf 1 0 0 0
M Morse rf 2 0 1 2
M Tuiasosopo 3b 2 0 0 0
B Ust 3b 2 0 0 0
Y Betancourt ss 2 0 1 0
W Bloomquist ss 2 0 1 0

E Bedard 2 4 3 3 2 1 0
C Baek 2 1 0 0 0 0 0
R Rowland-Smith 2 2 0 0 1 0 0
J Woods (W,1-0) 2 1 0 0 1 3 0
S Green (S,1) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

If you have any interest in what the Giants did, then click here. For a recap of the game from ESPN, go here. For now, in early Spring Training, I think that I'll just leave a link for the game notes, as game number one or two now I guess isn't that much of a deciding factor for most of the players down in Peoria, where I will be about three weeks from now.

Mariners and Felix Looking Long Term?

John Hickey of the Seattle PI says that the Mariners have set a deadline of Sunday, to have all contracts for 2008 completed. Four players are without a deal right now; Felix Hernendez, Sean White, Jeremy Reed and Mike Morse. If the two sides can't reach an agreement, than the Mariners can "renew" all four player's contracts.

It's well known that the Mariners want to signed Felix to an extension beyond the 2008 season, and are believed to be discussing an extension that would buy out Felix's arbitration years. Two of Seattle's other youngsters, infielders Jose Lopez and Yuniesky Betancourt, were signed to long term extensions with about two years and a bit of service time to each player's credit. That's right about where Felix is now.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Around the League; February 28, 2008

Today's tidbits from around the league.

"Mariners Will Win AL West"

I heard Steve Phillips today on SportsCenter talking some baseball, and went over the best offseason acquisitions. Naturally, Johan Santana was the best acquisition in the NL, and Phillips said that Erik Bedard was the best in the AL. This may not be quite as exact as he said, but here goes:

The Mariners acquisition of Erik Bedard will put them over the hump, which will allow them to win the AL West.

Pretty strong words. He didn't even mention the Angels being of some competition. I agree on how much Bedard's coming here makes this team better, including pushing Felix Hernendez back a spot relieving him of some of the potential pressure, and not to mention Bedard's abilities on the mound. Looking forward to Opening Day. The Mariners' first Spring Training game is tomorrow!!!
PS: Sorry for not having a link for this.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Reed Wants to Stay With Big Club

Jeremy Reed has been the guy that has had everything, but hasn't been able to break through the Mariners' barrier of Ichiro, Ibanez, and whoever has been playing RF. Come to think of it, Reed would be a perfect candidate for MLBTradeRumors new series, Blocked Prospects. It may be another season wasting some of his ability at AAA again in 2008. I told you to watch out for him this Spring, or now, I guess.

John Hickey of the Seattle PI talks about how Reed wants to be with Seattle in 2008. At one point after he was acquired as the Adam Jones of the Freddy Garcia trade, he was getting some fairly regualar playing time, untill he broke his thumb diving for a ball in July of 2oo6. He has only had 17 big league AB's since.
Right now, the Mariners' four projected starting outfielders are all lefties, but so is Reed, so that isn't an advantage to get him with the team. He has two options left, so he can be called up to the Mariners from the Rainers without any problems. Mike Morse on the other hand, is out of options. Morse is also a top candidate for the fourth outfielder job. Unfortuneatly, I didn't include Reed in my right field battle, but he is definitly a candidate heading into the next week.

Around the League; February 26/27, 2008

Today's and yesterday's news around the MLB. I lost what I had done yesterday, thanks to Blogger, but anyways...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Getting to Know a Rival: Oakland Athletics

Next up in this 'mini-series' I guess you could call it are the Oakland A's. Last time, we looked at the Angels. The A's won't be much of a threat this season, but they do have a few guys that could get something done if they are healthy.

Manager: Bob Green
2007: 75-86, 3rd place
Coming In: OF Emil Brown, RHP Joey Devine, Of Carlos Gonzalez, LHP Gio Gonzalez, LHP Dana Eveland, OF Ryan Sweeney, LHP Brett Anderson
Packed Their Bags: RHP Dan Haren, OF Nick Swisher, OF Mark Kotsay, DH Mike Piazza, OF Shannon Stewart, INF Marco Scutaro, RHP Colby Lewis

Projected Lineup
C: Kurt Suzuki
1B: Dan Johnson/Deric Barton
2B: Mark Ellis
3B: Eric Chavez
SS: Bobby Crosby
LF: Ryan Sweeney/Emil Brown
CF: Chris Denorfia
RF: Travis Buck
DH: Jack Cust

Projected Rotation

1: Joe Blanton
2: Rich Hardon
3: Chad Gaudin
4: Justin Duchscherer
5: Lenny DiNardo

Projected Bullpen
LRP: Dan Meyer
MRP: Alan Embree
MRP: Kiko Calero
MRP: Joey Devine
MRP: Keith Foulke
SU: Andrew Brown/Santiago Casilla
CL: Huston Street

Offensive Outlook: The A's aren't interested this year, as they dealt away Nick Swisher, Mark Kotsay, and Marco Scutaro (among position players) for prospects, as once again the A's try to rebuild. I look at this lineup, and nobody sticks out to me. Erik Chavez was, key word 'was', a solid player. Injuries have dismatled his career, as they have to most of the A's. If guys like Mark Ellis and Dan Johnson can produce some decent numbers than maybe the middle of the order has a shot. Jack Cust showed some sort of power ar one point last year, and everyone jumped on to his bandwagon. He could be worth 20 HR's if he's lucky. The rest of those in the batting order are nothing to be afraid of. Kurt Suzuki and Bobby Crosby could do something, but that would take a few steps. It's hard to expect more then three or four runs a game with this offence. Heck, three or four may be wishfull thinking...

Rotation Outlook: Same as above. The A's dealt away Dan Haren, so they're done. Joe Blanton could so something. On the average team he could be a legitamite ace, and seeing as the A's are below average, so that shoots Blanton's value through the roof. He had some trade interest, but the A's are holding on to him for now. We'll see what happens come deadline day 2008. Rich Harden was once a great pitcher, but his career has been slaughtered by injuries. He has ace potential, but not too much of that has come through. The rest of the rotation..... That says it all. Gaudin, Duchscherer, and NiDardo aren't much more than decent relief pitchers at best. No pressure to perform, so who knows what can happen.
Bullpen Outlook: As I mentioned, the A's most decent (don't know if that's grammatically correct) reliever is Huston Street, who blew outas a rookie. That about sums it up. He had a great rookie year, and then blew out his arm. End of story. The rest of the bullpen are either has-beens, Embree, and Foulke, or youngs minor leaguers who only have a shot because there isn't anyone else. I can't say much about Devine, Meyer, Casilla, Santiago, or Calero, but they fit into that second category. Don't expect anything from this bullpen. Foulke and Embree could be flipped for more prospects, and the others could come out and show something. That's best case scenario. Prognosis: Another season in the botton half of the AL West is about as good as it's going to get. As I mentioned a few times in this post, the A's gave up on 2008 a while back when he first traded Dan Haren, and the rest of the players sent out for prospects. Nothing doing here. The only problem with the A's, is that the Mariners will likely find some sort of problem with the A's that they can't solve. Your thoughts?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Around the League; February 25, 2008

Time to round up what's gone on today in baseball.
  • Jon Heyman talked to Sammy Sosa's agent, who said that Sammy Sosa wants as close to a full time job as he can get. Sammy hit .252/.311/.468 last year, earning $1.85M. None of the 14 teams in the AL have an open DH spot, so that's almost sealed up. Japan for Sosa??
  • Also from Heyman, the Mets were offering Orlando Hernendez as trade bait, so they could sign Kyle Lohse of El Duque was traded. Nothing definite yet on this subject.
  • Jon Heyman is a pretty popular man today, as he has the latest on Brian Roberts to the Cubs. He says that this trade still has life but that's it. Jason Churchill of Prospect Insider wrote a few days ago, that the Orioles might want Felix Pie or Tyler Colvin instead of the Cubs' apparent offer of Ronny Cedeno, Sean Gallagher, and Kevin Hart.
  • Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail checks in again and says that there isn't any market for Blue Jays outfielder Reed Johnson. This shouldn't be much of a surprised, as Johnson was expected to be non-tendered back in who-knows-when.
  • Japan is a legitimate possibility for Barry Bonds, but Bonds would rather stay in the MLB. The Rays were said to have some interest, but that was shot down.

A reminder that I've got a new email set up so send me your comments, suggestions, questions, etc. at marinerscentral"at"

Sights and Sounds: Bunt Contest

Geoff Baker has a new video from Spring Training for us. I can't believe it didn't come to me to add these to my blog. Duhhhhhh.

Enjoy! Here's what is said over at Geoff Baker's blog.

Many of you have written in saying how much you like the bunt drills. Well, the Mariners have a bunting contest going right now. Manager John McLaren has challenged his players to successfully bunt a series of pitches into two small circles positioned just in front of home plate and off to the left and right. Each player gets three rounds of 10 pitches. They have to push six balls out of 30 into the circles. Some high-end golf balls are at stake. It's not easy. The ground is very hard and the balls are tough to deaden.
And not all of the guys you'll see qualify as bunting experts. It starts with Adrian Beltre, then Richie Sexson. Later, you'll see McLaren, who wants some golf balls in a bad way, arguing with Yuniesky Betancourt. The chatty shortstop keeps pleading for a couple of practice rounds. McLaren finally relents, probably because Betancourt is a machine gun of a talker. Kenji Johjima, Jose Lopez and Ichiro also take turns bunting.
Betancourt nailed two bunts his first two times up, then no more. Raul Ibanez wound up winning the challenge today. Ichiro did it yesterday.
The video of players' haircuts didn't turn out any better than the photos. So, I left that out.

New Email Setup

Sorry for the delay, but it just kind of slipped my mind lately. Anyways, the new email is marinerscentral"at" Feel free to send me suggestions for this blog, as well as your comments and anything regarding the Mariners. Don't let me have wasted the lasst five minutes making this!!

McLaren Wants Ichiro to Run

Word out of Spring Training, is that Mariners' manager John McLaren wants his All-Star CF Ichiro (who's too cool to have a last name) to steal some more bags. His career high for steals is 51, established in his rookie season in 2001. Mac mentioned that he thinks that Ichiro could steal 80 bases this season.

"He has done everything so well in his career, winning batting battles and Gold Gloves, that the bar is set high for him," McLaren said. "He's a numbers guy, and I just like him and others to think, 'I am capable of doing this.' That [80] was a number I pulled out of a hat."

I don't think that Mac is asking Ichiro to steal that many, but I also think that he expects more than 4o-50.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Around the MLB

Taking a look at what else happened in the MLB today, maybe turn this into a daily thing. I won't be going around North America in 60 seconds, or 80 days, but a few minutes should suffice.
  • ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says that the Red Sox signed Bartolo Colon to a non garunteed minor league contract.
  • Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail, says that the Blue Jays have signed Shannon Stewert to a minor league contract. Stewert began his career with the Jays organization.
  • Something new on the Brian Roberts situation. Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer says that his sources tell him that a Brian Roberts trade will be complete as soon as Chicago decides on what pitchers they want. This trade may finally get completed soon.
  • MLB Rumors has their projection for the Mariners in 2008. They don't have Sexson set for a big year.
  • To sum this up, a picture of Miguel Batista taking a bullpen session in Spring Training.

Batista Named #5

What some of us have been waiting for is now official; Carlos Silva will be the number three starter in the rotation, Jarrod Washburn number four, and last, is our 16 game winner in '07, Miguel Batista in the five spot. Hard to believe that your number five pitcher is a 15 win type of guy. That's just how good the rotation is.

Poll: What Do You Expect of the Mariners This Season?

Time for a new poll. This time, the poll will run for a week, as usual, so keep the votes coming. How do you, the reader find the polls? Interesting, Boring, Not bad. Be sure to let me know. I will be setting up an email for this blog very soon, and I mean it. Back to the poll; What Do You Expect of the Mariners This Season?

  • World Series Title
  • Playoff Appearance by Division
  • Playoff Appearance by Wild Card
  • Not to be Last
  • Nothing

Getting to Know a Rival: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California

Time for the first team in this new series/feature. The LA Angels appear to be the Mariners biggest threat for the AL West. As I go through the rest of the AL, the urgancy for the Mariners to win the division versus the Wild Card becomes more prominent. To start thing off the LA Angels.
Manager: Mike Scioscia
2007: 94-68 1st in AL West
Coming In: P Jon Garland, OF Torri Hunter
Packed Their Bags: RHP Bartolo Colon, RHP Greg Jones, RHP Chris Resop, INF Dallas McPherson, SS Orlando Cabrera, OF Tommy Murphy, Of Nick Gorneault

Projected Lineup:

C: Mike Napoli
1B: Casey Kotchman
2B: Howie Kendrick
SS: Caeser Izturis
3B: Chone Figgins
OF: Gary Matthews Jr.
OF/DH: Garret Anderson
CF: Torri Hunter
OF/DH: Vladimir Guerrero

Offensive Outlook: The Angels offense is in no way 'bad', but every year as I look at it, it just doesn't seem to be improving much. With Guerrero, who I think is one of the best pure power hitters out there, and has an amazing arm, and Anderson, all that I see is two guys with abilities to do very well, are a year older, a year more injured, and needing the DH spot even more often. Garret Anderson is pretty much the Mariners Raul Ibanez. Solid offensive player, but is older, and his defence is falling fast, but he's still a solid offensive help, in the DH spot. I think that Vlady has a bit left in the tank before he permantly needs the DH spot, but both are going to be there often. Torri Hunter was brought in on a massive deal, isn't really here for his defence, but rather giveing Guerrero some protection in the lineup. I like Hunter, but his offence isn't Guerrero level, but is still a decent power threat. Other than those three I don't see much other threat in the form of homeruns. Casey Kotchman looks like he could be a 20-30 HR guy in the future, but probably won't do that this season.

The top of the Angels order looks solid. Chone Figgans is one of the best leadoff hitters in the game, and his ability to run, and get on base is amazing. Howie Kendrick and Caesar Izturis can be dependable number two hitters, with speed, and qestion marks. After that go down to Guerrero, Hunter and Anderson. That looks pretty solid.

The bottom of the order is a mess. Mike Napoli, Casey Kotchman, and Gary Mathews Jr. are question marks. They all can do something, but not much. The Top-mid of the order looks ok, but the rest is a mess, as I said. If something can come out of the last few guys, this could turn out ok. Whatever happened to Juan Rivera? This guy went from solid LF to DH to riding the pine. I feel bad for this guy, but the Angels screwed it up. All of their outfielders except for Rivera have massive, nasty contracts. I'd like to see what comes out of this. Hopefully on the wrong side.

Rotation Outlook: One of the things that they Angels can credit theirselved with, is having a solid young core of pitchers. They are six deep in their starters, but with Kelvim Escobar having some kind of injury, that may turn into five pretty fast. Other than him, John Lackey, Jered Weaver, Jon Garland, Ervin Santana, and Joe Saunders make up the rest. This is a solid rotation, and is likely one of the main reasons that the Mariners beafed up their rotation to compete. Lackey is a potential 20 game winner, that would be the Mariners' Erik Bedard. Jered Weaver is an exciting young pitcher with a ton of promise, Felix Hernendez. A guy who can eat up innings, Carlos Silva. Jon Garland, a decent pitcher that has had an up and down career, Miguel Batista. Joe Saunders and Jarrod Washburn aren't that comparable, but both are lefties, and that's the biggest comparison that I can find, but I think that you get the point. Solid rotation, with a ton of skill. Angels/Mariners, best rotations? The Mets would enter that conversation as well, and the Red Sox probably could too.

Bullpen Outlook: The Angels have one of the best closers in baseball in Francisco Rodriguez, which I think overvalues their bullpen. Scott Shields is an excellent eighth inning guy, and also a solid reliever, but the rest? Justin Speier is a good pitcher, a fifty inning guy who can keep his ERA under three, but isn't necessarily All-Star material. The rest as I said is, well, Darin Oliver, Chris Bootchek, Jason Bulger, and Dustin Mosely speak for theirselves. I'm not saying that they are bad pitchers, but they aren't great.

Prognosis: I'm not going to lie, the Angels are a heckuva team, and if they would've acquired Miguel Cabrera they would almost have the division locked. I don't want to know what would happen if they got Dontrelle Willis too. Health is a big issue. If Guerrero and Anderson can stay healthy, then the offence is fine. If Lackey and Escobar can stay healthy, then the rotation will be fine, in all likelihood. If K-Rod and Shields are healthy, you get the point. This will be the biggest pain in the Mariners' side in '08, unless a miracle happens in Oakland or Texas.

Rumor Royalty

I know that it might be a bit later than I would've wanted to do, and I'm also sorry I don't have a link for this, but Geoff Baker of the SeattleTimes, was named Rumor Royalty for the Seattle Mariners, at Geoff's blog for the Mariners can be found here. This guy does a lot for the Mariners, and is definitly the right guy for that honour.

Poll Results: Who Will Be the Biggest Surprise (for better or for worse) in Spring Training '08?

Sorry for the lack of posts over the past few days. Been working on some things for this blog, and outside this blog as well. I do have a life, in case you were wondering. Sidenote: If anyone was wondering why the MLBTradeRumors widget was a few months behind today, the site was undergoing 'technical difficulties'. Anyway, the results to our most recent poll:

Wladimir Balentien 0-0%
Felix Hernendez 1-16%
Jose Lopez 1-16%
Richie Sexson 1-16%
Brandon Morrow 2-33%
Erik Bedard 1-16%

Six votes, not bad. Hard to keep readers when I haven't done anything too interesting of late. Don't worry, it'll get more interesting.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Looking at the Competition

Right now, Spring Training feels like a boring time, so I start up a few different features, and then I overwhelm myself with all of the stuff happening this Spring. That's my prediction.

Over the next month, I will be looking at the rest of the American League, especially the AL West, just to kind of give out a hint of the kind of competition the Mariners will have. Don't worry, the Position Battles will still go on.

Right Field Battle

Time for the next installment in this very young series. The other day, I looked at the battle for the set-up man position. Today I will be doing the battle for the right field job.

Adam Jones was set to be the Mariners' starting right fielder, but he was traded to Baltimore as the centerpiece of the Erik Bedard trade. So, by using our logic, it would seem that a guy like Wladimir Balentien would be an option, as he is next or one of the next few down the depth chart. Brad Wilkerson was also brought in, and may be the starting RF.

Let's start with Balentien. The 23 year old is now the best outfield prospect in the Mariners' system. With Tacoma last season, he put up a .291/.362/.509 line with 24 HR and 84 RBI. He got 3 AB's with the Mariners last season, he got two hits, one a HR, and 4 RBI. That looks good on paper, if those three at bats are in a ratio with around 200-300, as in half to a full season, depending on how everything else goes. Right now, Balentien and Brad Wilkerson have to be considered the front runners for this gig. Keep a watch on Balentien, and expect him to get more than a few AB's in '08.

Next up, is Brad Wilkerson. When was the last time that this guy dominated the batter's box? You'll have to go back to his NCAA days to find some really good stats. This guy appears to be the favourite headed to camp, but anything could happen. Last season with Texas, he hit .234/.319/.467 with 29 HR and 62 RBI. I like the power numbers he put up, and the ability he has shown, which is almost about the same that Jose Guillen has, so the rught field situation could even out if Wilkerson put up the same numbers as last year, and if Wlad can step in and put up somewhat close to the same numbers in a platoon role, then this could work out well.

Mike Morse has to be considered sort of a long shot to make this team, but is still in the running. Morse came to Seattle in the Freddy Garcia trade a long time ago. In the last few years in the Mariners' organization, he;s bounced around between AAA and the MLB. In 102 career MLB games, all with the Mariners, Morse has hit .302/.365/.399 with 3 HR and 37 RBI in 291 AB. Not bad, and his minor league career stats; .261/.319/.408 with 50 HR and 331 RBI in 2270 AB's. Morse definitly has an idea of what the heck is going on out there, so he'll be getting a few looks this Spring.

Charlton Jimerson looks like a longshot, but is a decent prospect that isn't too far down the depth chart. In his one season in this organization, he has looked good, hitting .276 with 23 HR and 73 RBI at AA (322 AB), and then after being called up to AAA, he hit .308 with 2 HR and 7 RBI (65 AB). In his two major league AB's, he is hitting 1.000. This guy may have something, but will most likely be starting in Tacoma.

As I mentioned, it looks like Wlad and Wilk are the front runners for this spot. Platooning would be a solid option, but we'll have to wait and see. Taking suggestions on any other battles as well. I still haven't set up an email for this blog, so feel free to leave suggestions in the comments for now.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

"My, Oh, My, That One's Going to Fly Away!!"

The Mariners' long-time, and I mean long time, announcer Dave Niehaus is this year's recipient of the Ford Frick Award, has been elected in to baseball's highest announcer's booth, Cooperstown. That's right, the man who has only missed 82 of the Mariners' 4,899 games, starting with the first ever Mariners' game, way back in 1977. Not a bad 73rd birthday present, eh?

Mariners Add More, Well...Depth

The Mariners added some more depth, by signing infielder Bubba Crosby to a minor league contract, with no Spring Training invite.

Crosby has been around over his career. He has belonged to the Dodgers' organization for the first six seasons of his career, and then the Yankees' organization for the next four. He spent 2007 with the Reds, but played at AAA. Not sure why he only had 39 AB's though. In his major league career he has a .216 BA in 250 AB's, and a career minor league average of .277 in 2458 AB. He will likely be at AAA, but word on the street is that Jose Lopez hasn't gotten his visa yet, and hasn't left for Peoria(hat tip to BleadingBlueandTeal), so is there a connection there? Probably. The Mariners' front office isn't unintelligent, but how creditable (not sure if that is a word) are they? The Carl Everett and Matt Lawton signings come to mind...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Set-Up Man Battle

Time for something new. I'm going to start going over position battles for the Mariners, that will be coming up this Spring. Today, or rather tonight, I'm going to start with the battle for the setup man for closer JJ Putz.

No more George Sherrill now that Mr. Bedard is in town. Brandon Morrow was the setup man for Putz last season. As a rookie, he posted a 4.12 ERA in 63.1 IP, giving up only 3 HR and striking out 66. His 50 BB were probably his worst stat, but considering he only had 16 innings of minor league expierence before impressing in Spring Training '07, and jumping to the MLB. He will be in the mix this Spring, although before Erik Bedard was acquired, he was going to be battling for the number five starter job. Manager John McLaren says that he will have Morrow battling for the setup spot, instead of going to AAA to further his transformation into a starter.

24 year old Mark Lowe has not been able to stay healthy for more than five minutes over the last couple seasons. If he is as healthy as we are led to believe, that he will likely be in the Mariners' bullpen. He will be some of Brandon Morrow's biggest compitition for the setup job. In 2007, Lowe only managed to be healthy enough to pitch in 12.2 innings. In 2006, when he was healthy, with the Mariners he had a 1.93 ERA and 20 K's in 18.2 IP. He only gave up one homerun and 9 BB. Not bad for some fresh meat. He also has proven that he can handle MLB batters. He'll be one to watch.
Righty Chris Reitsma has also had some injury problems in his tenure with the Mariners. yes it has only been one year, but he has only managed 23.2 innings in his first season with the Mariners. I'd say that Reitsma has the ability to be a decent reliever, but hasn't proved that yet. His 4.70 ERA in 609 IP for his MLB career isn't much. It's not nothing, but it's not much. He's an option, but I like the above better.

More of a longshot for this job, but Arthur Rhodes was brought in as competition, so it's only fair to include him in this. Because all of life is fair... Man this guy has been around. It doesn't look like Rhodes will be ready come Opening Day, and will likely start in the minors. He has a career ERA of 4.32 in 1011 IP. He's still an option.

Any ideas are always welcome, I'll be making an email adress for this blog. Anyone I missed for the setup job?

Old Friend, New City

The Nationals have brought in another member of the Boone family, in our old friend Brett. I can't remember the last time I heard his name. The 38 year old came out of retirement to try and make the Nationals as a utility man. I can't believe how long it's been since Boone got caught for steriods or something like that, was designated for assignment, and then traded to the Twins for a PTBN. Boone said he never took steriods, but in Jose Canseco's book Juiced, he says that during a game, he (Canseco) hit a double, and say Boone at second base, and asked him 'what have you been doing?' and Boone replied 'shhhh. Don't tell anyone.' Hard to believe how long it has been.

M's Looking to Lock Up Players?

According to John Hickey of the Seattle PI, the Mariners may be looking to lock up a few of their players during this Spring, as the M's prefer to. He talks about the chances of the Mariners signing Felix Hernendez, Kenji Johjima, Richie Sexson, Raul Ibanez, and Erik Bedard to long term deals.

Felix and Bedard seem like sure bets to be in long term negotiations soon. Bedard can opt for free agency after the '09 season, and if the Mariners are smart, they will be looking to sign him to a long term extension. Felix may be locked up for the rest of his arbitration years before this season starts.

The other three, can all be free agents after this season. Richie Sexson probably won't be back, and why should the Mariners bring him back? After signing him to the massive deal three years ago, he hasn't done much for the Mariners. Kenji Johjima seems most likely to stay. Jeff Clement appears to be almost there, so wouldn't bringing Joh back hurt Clements progress? He (Johjima) has played well in his time here. He should get a good look at being brought back. Jose Vidro has a vesting option for 2009, but I don't know what it is, and Raul Ibanez's defence has slipped and slid away. If Ibanez is brought back, it will most likely be as a DH. He has put up some solid numbers over the last few seasons, but has been a but of a liability in the field. It'll be interesting to see what Bavasi does. If I know Bavasi, than he'll probably do something stupid that might turn out okay. I can remember the Carl Everret signings...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

M's Interested in Nixon

According to Jerry Crasnick of, the Mariners are interested in free agent outfielder Trot Nixon. Nixon worked out for Arizona (DBacks) who left the 'audition' open for other teams to watch him. The Blue Jays, and Dodgers also watched Nixon.

The 33 year old lefty is a career .275 hitter with 136 home runs in 11 seasons with the Red Sox and Indians.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Waiver Wire Pickup

According to the Seattle Times, the Mariners have claimed RHP Anderson Garcia off of waivers from the Phillies. The soon to be 27 year old righty has spent most of his career in the minors. He appears to be insurance in case of an injury in the bullpen, and maybe the rotation. Garcia, not to be confused with Freddy Garcia, is 29-31 with a 3.85 ERA in 221 minor league games over the past seven years. He has started 39 games in that time as well.

Garcia will likely be starting in the minors, but will likely get a shot in the majors if something happens, or he makes the team out of Spring Training. The Mariners are building up a bit of pitching depth after losing four pitchers in the Erik Bedard trade, including left specialist George Sherrill.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Poll: Who Will Be the Biggest Surprise (for better or for worse) in Spring Training '08?

New poll for you readers; Who Will Be the Biggest Surprise (for better or for worse) in Spring Training '08? A little more complicated than the past. This time you have six, count 'em, six, choices. Have fun!!

Wladimir Balentien

Felix Hernendez

Jose Lopez

Richie Sexson

Brandon Morrow

Erik Bedard

Poll Results: How Many Games Will Erik Bedard Win?

The results to the most recent poll; How Many Games Will Erik Bedard Win? I apologize for the typo, ...Mant... was suppossed to be 'many', but anyways...

11-15 2-18%

16-20 8-72%

21+ 1-9%

Right around where I expected. I have Bedard as a 17-18 win pitcher for this season. But, a good turnout. Nice to see a little bit of interest around this blog. Keep the word out, and keep reading!!

Bedard Gets Deal

The Mariners avoided arbitration with Erik Bedard, signing him to a new contract. But not the contract that everyone has been hoping for, as in the long term. Bedard gets a one year deal worth $7M. Bedard had wanted $6M. I can tell you that the Orioles were offering $6M to Bedard. There wasn't a figure that Seattle submitted that I have been made aware of. If anyone has a link for any dollar amount that the Mariners had, then leave it in the comments.

Bedard made $3.4M with Baltimore last season. The Mariners inherited Bedard's arbitration eligable situation when they acquired him.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Assesing the Bedard Trade; Part VI

Time for our final assesment of the Erik Bedard trade. The rest of the assesments can be seen in these links; Part I, Part II, Part III, Part VI, and Part V. The final analysis will be on the biggest name in the trade, Erik Bedard.

I can't really do this assesment like I did four of the previous five, because Bedard is not a prospect. But anyways... In three MLB seasons, Bedard has not been able to get over the 200 inning mountain. In 2005,'06, and '07, he had 141.2, 196.1, and 182 innings pitched respectively. I guess you can and you can't call 196 IP a 200 season. It's almost there, but that's what my feeling on Bedard is, he's a pitcher that is almost ready to be a greater pitcher. A solid Mariners team may be able to get him over that hump. His stats in 2007 where remarkable; in 182 IP, he had 221 K's (franchise record), a 13-5 record, and gave up less than a HR per nine, and only a 1.09 WHIP. Pretty good numbers to me. His 2006 season, wasn't bad. 15-11, 3.76 ERA, 171 K's. Again, not bad. For you fantasy geeks, including myself, here is what CBSSports says about Bedard:

Bedard went 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA last year and was third in the AL in strikeouts (221) while allowing a league-low 6.97 hits per nine innings. A move to a contender in Seattle will make Bedard a potential 17-game winner and solidify his spot among the top 10 starting pitchers in Fantasy Baseball. It was harder to trust a Fantasy ace on a bad team like the O's.

Now for my take on Bedard. Erik Bedard is a great Canadian pitcher, with amazing skills. He has the ability to be an ace pitcher. He won't have the pressure of 'ace' as King Felix is number two, and the three other pitchers, Washburn, Batista, and Silva, make up a solid rotation. Not to mention that Seattle has a better lineup and team behind Bedard than Baltimore had. Bedard should become a 17-20 win pitcher with an ERA of around 2.50-3.00 with over 200 K's. If he can get over that 200 inning mark, he will finally get that load off of his shoulders. Bedard needs one more great season to become a true ace. A Cy Young, or a couple playoff victories could help out his case.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Odds and Ends

A collection of a few random links for you tonight.

Caffeinated Confines has their Richie Sexson Projection. I realized that in my Spring Training Watch for Richie Sexson, I didn't have a projection. I'm thinking that I might do projections for the whole team in the next couple weeks.

Geoff Baker has a few quotes from Felix Hernendez after he passes his physical. is finishing up their Around the Horn series for each team. The Mariners one can be seen here.

  • Always looking for new ideas for this blog. Anything to add, comments, and just about anything else is very helpful. Is there any interest out there for starting a mailbag series?

Assesing the Bedard Trade; Part V

It's time for the almost final assesment of the Erik Bedard trade (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part VI). I will in all likelihood be finished with this before Spring Training begins, so we can focus on thos down in Peoria. Just as a sidenote; for a week in March, I will be away from this blog as I am going down to Arizona for Spring Training. Just to make you all jealous. Now for Kam Mickolio.

Mickolio looks to be the Orioles' most ready pitching prospect acquired in the Erik Bedard trade. The 6'9" righty tore up AA in 2007, with an ERA of 1.82 in 29.2 IP, while averaging almost a strikeout an inning, and gave up no HR's. His record was 3-1. He jumped up to AAA and went 3-3 with a 3.75 ERA in 24 IP. He gave up 3 HR, and averaged more than a K/IP. He looks to be at AAA to start the 2008 season. The Orioles may try at AA for a few minuted before getting him up to AAA. He could see some MLB action in 2008, and will get a serious look come September. He could be an MLB regular in 2009. I'm sorry, but I don't have a review of Mickolio's pitches for you. I will keep digging though. Now for my thoughts;

Mickolio represents a very good talent. He will likely be a career reliever, but may get to close. He can strike out almost anyone, and as the speed on his fastball improves, he will begin to be more of a strikeout pitcher. I see Mickolio as a part of the Orioles bullpen in 2009. Unless he has a crazy spring, expect to see him in The Show come September. He could be a dominent pitcher in a couple years.

Bedard Named Opening Day Starter

Bleeding Blue and Teal reports that John McLaren has named Erik Bedard the team's Opening Day starter for the 2008 season. McLaren named experience as the main reason. I would of thought that King Felix would have been the Opening Day starter. He was last year, and it would probably be a motivational boost. Whatt Johnny Mac did last year almost worked, so let's try and keep the faith...

Mariners Sign Norton

According to The News Tribune, the Mariners have signed 35 year old switch hitter Greg Norton to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training. Norton will likely be in a battle for a bench role.

Norton has spent the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays. Knee surgery caused him to miss most of last season. He hit .243 in 75 games with 4 HR and 23 RBI last season, with most of his AB's coming in a pinch hitter role. He dropped off a bit from his 2006, where he hit .296 with 17 home runs and 45 RBI in 98 games. This is just another one of those guys that are added to make more of a competition for the positions.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Assesing the Bedard Trade; Part IV

Time for round four of the Bedard trade assesment. The previous parts are below:
Part I - Adam Jones

Part II - Chris Tillman

Part III - George Sherrill

Now it's time for Part IIII, Tony Butler. Here is what RotoWorld has to say about Butler.

A third-round back in 2006, Butler struggled with his control last season and missed time with arm problems, but is a 6-foot-7 southpaw who works with a low-90s fastball. If his control improves and his secondary pitches develop further, Butler has a chance to be a No. 2 starter. As a hard-throwing left-hander he could also fall back into a bullpen niche if some of the rough edges can't be smoothed out, but at just 20 years old he'll get every opportunity to prove that he can stick in the rotation long term.

Like Chris Tillman, Butler is not near ready for the majors yet. He is still floating around A ball, and hasn't truly blown away everyone yet. He has the tools to become a solid pitcher in a few years. He still needs another year, probably two, maybe even three more seasons in the minors before he is ready for the majors. He is what ProspectInsider has to say about Butler's pitches:

Fastball: 60/75

Butler’s fastball reaches the low 90s, and in time could naturally grow into a mid-90s offering where he can reach back and get to 97 or 98. Velocity isn’t everything, however, as it’s much more critical that he stays on top of his heater and attacks the bottom of the strike zone. He’s already showing as a flyball pitcher, but he can’t let the ratios get out of hand.
His 4-seamer has decent movement, but adding a two-seamer to feed his ground ball ratio wouldn’t be bad idea.

Curve Ball: 55/70

Currently his out pitch, Butler’s curve ball isn’t a true 12-6 breaking ball, but is certainly a curve, not a slider, as has been reported elsewhere. After a 93-mph four-seamer, try hanging in to fight off a 1-7 curve ball with sharp, late action breaking down and out of the zone. Yeah, that’s a good pitch, and it’s only going to get better.
His breaking ball might be his bread and butter and his magic carpet to The Show.

Change: 45/55
The fact that Butler feels good enough about his change-up to throw it as much as he has of late, is a great sign that he understands how important changing speeds truly is for any pitcher.
The club asked him to back off the breaking ball a little bit, so he’s pretty much using fastball-change as he finishes off the year. Considering the fact that he still isn’t getting hit…

Now, it's the part of the show where I tell you my thoughts on Tony Butler. I see the tall lefty to be a successful pitcher in a few years. He has a good arsenal of pitches, but still needs a bit of work with his command, but that will come with experience. Butler is another one of those prospects that could be rushed up to AAA or even the MLB, but shouldn't. The Orioles should take this guy slowly, and watch him succeed further down the road, instead of tomorrow. I think that a comparable pitcher to Butler could be Scott Kazmir. Both show the same qualities; tall, left handed, strong arm, and an overall good pitcher. Look for Butler in 2010 or 2011.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Assesing the Bedard Trade; Part III

This could almost be considered a series now. Part I covered the Adam Jones angle on the trade, and Part II covered Chris Tillman. Now Part III will be George Sherrill.

George Sherrill has been a big part of the Mariners' bullpen over the last couple seasons as a set-up man. Sherrill appeared in 73 games, and had an ERA of 2.36 while on average facing one to two batters a game. Sherrill will only be 31 this season, so he still has gas left in the tank. He's expected to be the Orioles' new closer in 2008, although he hasn't done much closing in his career, only for bits at a time with Tacoma (AAA). He could turn out to be a decent 30 save guy with a little bit of work. The Mariners are losing a very religable pitcher who seems to be allergic to injuries. The Orioles pick up what the Mariners lose. Sherrill will also be a solid mentor fir some of the Orioles younger pitchers. The Orioles now have a solid bullpen of veterans. The reason why the Sherrill part of this trade is so short, is because the other players are rookies that need almost like a preview. Not to lower Sherrill's value or anything, but there just isn't too much to say about him.


I was wondering if any of you readers would like to start a mailbag feature on this blog. You send me your questions about the Mariners, and the stuff around the Mariners, and I answer them for you. Let me know in the comments if there is any interest.

Assesing the Bedard Trade; Part II

Time for Part II in our assesment of the Erik Bedard trade. You can find the first part here, which was about Adam Jones. Next up, is pitching prospect Chris Tillman that Baltimore recieved in the trade.

Chris Tillman, the 6'5" righty that was picked in the second round by the Mariners in the 2006 Amateur Draft, was seen as a medium first round pick, but lucky for the Mariners, he fell through an extra round. Tillman has a fastball at about 90 MPH, and a great breaking ball. He has also been working on a splitter or changeup to compliment his other pitches. Because of Tillman's size, he can rely on his skill to make his pitches instead of having to overwork his arm and elbow, which would likely lead to injuries.

Tillman doesn't appear to be much more than a high quality prospect at this point in time. He hasn't pitched higher than A+ so far, and hasn't truly dominated at A Ball based on his statistics. Like I said, he doesn't appear to be someone that the Mariners will regret trading, but he will only be 20 years old in 2008, which is still very young. He needs another year or two in the minors before we can really expect much from him as a force in the majors.

Jason Churchill of Prospect Insider gives his take on Chris Tillman here. Here is what he thinks of Tillman's pitches:

Fastball: Tillman sat anywhere from 90-93 in his pro debut last season, occasionally touching 94 or 95, which could ultimately become his average fastball. He’s a candidate to learn the art of the two-seamer in order to induce more ground balls, but the club sees him as the type of pitcher, being taller, who can learn to stay on top of his pitches and keep the ball down, so a different heater may not be necessary.
With plus velocity, Tillman has the makings of a very good four-seamer.Grade: 60/65+
Curve: Tillman’s 12-6 style curve is his bread and butter and is thrown in the 75-77 mph range – potentially a true power curve. As always, his command of the pitch needs improvement, but it’s got sharp, late break and solid depth, though it may endure some altering on his path to the show.

The Mariners do not want to see their kids throw too many curves or sliders, so watch for Tillman to be asked to use his curve sparingly, particularly later in the year as his workload tops out.Grade: 55/65

Splitter: Tillman began throwing a split-finger in high school, but the M’s prefer he learns a true change to save his valuable arm as he continues to mature physically. In a few years, they’ll remove the limitations and the better bet is that he sticks with the splitter, as a true change, usually of the circle grip variety, is much more difficult to master.
He can throw the true changeup and will be asked to develop it further.Grade: 45/55

Now for my take on Chris Tillman. Tillman is a pitcher that is very mature for his age. He could be someone that shoots up the minor leagues in 2008. He has two great pitches, his fastball and curve, that have been developed well, but still have soom room to go in terms of control. As he develops his changeup/splitter, he will become a pitcher that can dominate the strike zone because of his size, and the abilities of his pitches. Once he matures, he should have the abilities to be a solid number two or three pitcher in the rotation. He doesn't appear to be a bonafide ace pitcher of a prospect, but things could change, going up, or down. He probably won't see the bigs in '08, but may get a taste in '09. Probably by 2010, he will be somewhere between a AAA Ace, and an MLB starter.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Assesing the Bedard Trade; Part I

Since there isn't too much hotstove going on for the Mariners, I'm going to access this trade, and break it down. First, we are going to look at the players that Baltimore recieved in the trade. First, we will be starting with the centerpiece of the trade.

OF Adam Jones

As I noted, Adam Jones was the centerpiece of this trade, as he was told by the Mariners. Jones was the Mariners' first round pick in 2003 (37th overall), and quickly sped his way through the Mariners' organization. He only needed a short season with Everett, and after playing Fall Ball, he encountered his first test at the age of 18, with Wisconson in the MidWest League, where he had solid numbers 11 HR 72 RBI .267/.314/.404. The next season, at the young age of 19, he started at AA, and established himself as a top prospect. His stats for that year, getting 271 AB's at High A and 228 at AA, were 17 HR 70 RBI .275/.328/.456 1with 6 SB. He continued to be noticed. He came up to the Majors, but was blown away. So, at age 20, he was with AAA Tacoma, where he shined once again, hitting .287/.345/.484 with 16 HR, 62 RBI and 13 SB. He improved his discipline behind the plate, and continued his improvement on his deffence. ESPN's Keith Law had this to say about Adam Jones:

He's an exciting player. Outstanding defensive center fielder with a 7 arm (2-8 scale, 8 is the best) and tremendous range. At the plate he's got a very quick bat and average power already, projecting plus in the future, but struggles some with pitch recognition and can be beaten with breaking stuff. He's going to be a star, but he's the type of guy who can have a lot of ups and downs as he adjusts to big-league pitching, especially since he hasn't really been challenged in the minors.

Adam Jones was given a B+ grade by John Sickels in his 2007 Baseball Prospect Book. He notes that Jones had significant strike zone issues in his first exposure to the majors, which must be fixed if he wants to have some long term success. John also advises that Jones has a great glove, and runs the risk of being miscast as a leadoff hitter.

My take on Adam Jones: A player who is too good for the minors, but needs a bit of improvement if he is to suceed in the majors. He has the potential to be a star for the next ten to fifteen years. He has an above average glove, and an amazing arm. He has great speed, but may not be quite qualified enough to be a leadoff hitter. He has above average power, but won't be the next Vladimir Guerrerro. He can hit for average, and may be able to go over .300 a few times. Maybe not in 2008, maybe not even in '09, but come 2010, Adam Jones will probably be a household name.
More to come...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Spring Training Watch: Jose Lopez

Next up in our Spring Training Watch series, is second basemen Jose Lopez. This series will be slowly winding down, as Spring Training starts up. What have you, the reader thought of this feature? Waste of time, good insight, or just help pass the time. Let me know in the comments.

Jose Lopez has has an up and down start to his career. After being called up to the Mariners in 2005 from AAA Tacoma, where he hit .319/.354/.505 with 5 HR and 31 RBI in 182 AB's, and would spend his next two and a half seasons. In 2004, he got his first sip of the Majors, getting 207 AB's, putting up a line of .232/.263/.367 with 5 HR and 22 RBI. In that same season, he put up a .295/.342/.505 line in 275 AB's. Right now it looks like he has solved the minors, but hasn't put all of the pieces together in the MLB. 2006 was his first full yeat in the Bigs. He got 603 AB's as the starting second basemen for the Mariners, putting up an amazing first half, earning him a spot on the American League All-Star team, but slowed down significantly in the second half, to finish with a .282/.319/.405 line with 10 HR and 79 RBI. His minor league abilities look like they have carried over. Lopez was also in the transition period going from a shortstop to secondbase, and had to work on his defence just as much, if not more than his hitting abilities. His 2007 season has to be considered a dissapointment. He got 524 AB;s, in only three less games than the year before, putting up a line of .252/.284/.355 with 11 HR and 62 RBI. The power numbers stayed, but the rest of his line took a huge hit. If he was playing Golf Glove caliber defence, than maybe we could take a pass on the .250 BA, but he played very poor defence. I'd say that the past Miguel Cairo signing may come as a releif, because he probably would've played just as well as Lopez did.

Now looking ahead to the future. Lopez is set to be the Mariners' starting 2B, but with Willie Bloomquist, and Miguel Cairo biting at his but. Don't expect the first half of 2006 out of Lopez, and solid defence, but we should try to be optomistic, as Lopez is a young player, with a long way to go.

Mariners Talking Extension With Bedard

As most of us should expect, the Mariners are working on a contract that would keep newly acquired pitcher Erik Bedard in Seattle for more than the next two years, according to Ken Rosenthal. It is still uncertain on whether or not the Orioles tried to give Bedard an extension before they traded him.
What is a guy like Bedard going to cost? The bar for an ace pitcher under 30 years of age, is between $18-20M annually. Bedard could easily get that much. I hate that as soon as a player has a great season, he is considered to be an ace. Anyway, Bedard's closest comparable would likely be CC Sabathia, who has one more year left before he can reach free agency.

If Bedard wants to maximize his dollars and has confidence in his 2008 season, he'll be best-served to wait and see what Sabathia does.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Poll: How Many Games Will Erik Bedard Win in 2008?

Our next poll is: How Many Games Will Erik Bedard Win in 2008?
You now what to do. Four answers pick one.


Again, let's try to beat last week's record of 12 votes.

Poll Results:Who Will Be the Mariners' Starting Right Fielder?

The results from our most recent poll, Who Will Be the Mariners' Starting Right Fielder?

Brad Wilkerson 5- 42%

Wladimir Baltentien 5-42%

Adam Jones 2-16%

Other 0-0%

I'd agree too that it will be one of Wilkerson and Balentien that gets the starting job. I also wouldn't be surprised if they platoon. Leave any ideas for future polls in the comments.

Erik Bedard Trade Official

Finally, the Mariners have finished their trade for Erik Bedard. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports confirms that Bedard passed his physical completeing the trade that has gone on for a while now. The players going over to Baltimore are Adam Jones, George Sherrill, Chris Tillman, Kameron Mickolio, and Tony Butler. The Cubs will be looking to get a deal to bring Brian Roberts to the Chicago. The Erik Bedard trade being completed should mean that a Brian Roberts trade will be happening soon. Wow. Now that this trade is over, most of the Mariners' hot-stove will finished. My whole Erik Bedard tag will basically come to an end. It's hard to believe that this trade almost took a month.

My reaction to the Bedard trade? I like Bedard, especially the fact that he relieves the pressure off of Felix Hernendez to be the ace. If Bedard can stay healthy, he could win 20 games. I really like what Bedard brings to the table, and gives the Mariners a very formidable rotation. I'm in favour of the Mariners going for it now, seeing as they have the pieces together, it makes sense. I'd say that maybe not in 2008, or in 2009, but if Bedard leaves two year from now, and Adam Jones is tearing it up, there will be some hate-mail in Bill Bavasi's inbox. Your reactions?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Spring Training Watch: Jeremy Reed

Next up in the Spring Training Watch series, is outfielder Jeremy Reed, as requested a while back. Before I get the ball rolling, how is this series? Do you, the reader enjoy them? Feedback is much appreciated, especially seeing as this is a younger blog. Anyways...

Reed will be 27 in June of this year, so he can't be really be considered a prospect anymore. On most MLB teams, Reed would be atleast a number four outfielder, but with Ichiro, Raul Ibanez, Jose Guillen and Adam Jones blocking the way, it would be hard for him to go too high on the depth chart. Now he has to contend with Brad Wilkerson and Wladimir Baltentien for an outfield spot. Also the fact that the Mariners may be bringing three catchers up north, it will be even harder.

Reed has been able to succeed in the minors, and has had some success in the Bigs with the Mariners. Back in 2005, he got 488 AB's and put up a line of .254/.322/.352 with 3 HR and 45 RBI. His career line (MLB, 775) of .253/.314/.366 is almost parrallel to that 2005 season. His minor league stats make you think, why he didn't get that much of a shot in 2007? His minor league totals don't lie, a career minor league line of .318/.386/.469 in 1747 career minor league AB's. In 2006, Reed played the role of the fourth outfielder with some starting time, but put up a poor line of .217/.260/.377 in 212 AB's. His stats don't lie, he is a great player at AAA, but only an okay player at the MLB level.

It's not too hard to predict where Reed will end up come April. I'd say that he would be lucky to break camp with the big team, because as I earlier mentioned, Balentien and Wilkerson seem to have the third and fourth outfielder spots taken, and the Mariners could be bringing three catchers up north, there's just no room. I would say he starts 2008 as a Rainers (AAA) starting outfielder, but will either end up with the Mariners come September, or if there is an injury.

Bedard In Seattle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally. The Seattle PI is reporting that Erik Bedard was heading to Seattle as of Thursday morning for a physical. The Baltimore Sun says that Bedard is in Seattle for the physical, which will likely carry over into tomorrow. If Bedard is in Seattle, it looks like Baltimore was satisfied with George Sherrill and Adam Jones' physicals.

I'm not surprised that Bedard's physical could go into tomorrow. If I was trading for a player of that magnitude, and giving up what the Mariners are, I'd be checking over Bedard for the rest of February. It looks like the Mariners will be sending Adam Jones, George Sherrill, Chris Tillman, Kam Mickilio, and Tony Butler. I still think that that's a lot to give up. Hopefully Bedard gets an extension soon.

Almost over........

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Spring Training Watch: Richie Sexson

Next up in the Spring Training Watch series, is Richie Sexson.

Normally, and so far in this series, we watch rookies/prospects and younger players, not neccissarily sluggers making $12M and see how they progress. Instead, we will be looking at a 33 year old who is coming off of a poor season in which he had a .205/.295/.399 line with 21 HR and 63 RBI. Not bad for someone named Ben Broussard, who's line was better at .275/.330/.404. Sexson is in the last year of his deal, so is a contract year going to bring out the best in Sexson?

Sexson has hit 45 HR twice is his career, and more than 30 HR in three other seasons. He has the power, but because of his 6'7'' 208lb pound frame, he is bound to have a few holes in his swing. In his career, Sexson has managed a total of 294 HR and 907 RBI in about 4600 AB's. He has the ability, that's for sure. In his first two seasons as a Mariners he managed 39 and 34 HR. Exactly what was expected of him. Then only launching 21 last season? Something happened. It could be that Sexson had significantly less AB's in 2007, versus the two season previous, he had about 175 less AB's than about what his average would be in his first two seasons in a Mariners' uniform. It's not rocket science to realize that if a player gets almost 200 AB's less than what the had the previous season, their HR total probably won't be two close to the season before. But when that player is barely above a .200 BA, what can you do? If you have a 6'7'' hole in the middle of the lineup, you can't just hope that it goes away.

Sexson should be on pace for a decent season. I don't see his BA going too far over about .260 or so. He could and should get 30+ HR and maybe closer to 100 RBI. That could be that one notch that needs to be kicked up in the lineup to make it formidable. Bleeding Blue and Teal has their projection of Sexson. Writer Dustin Shires predicts:

Average: .258
Home Runs: 34
RBIs: 101
OBP: .387
Walks Drawn: 75
Ks: 142

That makes sense. Hopefully the Mariners can get something like that out of Sexson. Keep a watch on him. On the fantasy side, Sexson could be a good mid-late round sleeper pick that is ignored by most. If you have that extra pick, pick him up. Also, I was wondering if their was any interest in starting up a Fantast Baseball League for this blog. If you have any interest, leave it in the comments.

Still Waiting

The Erik Bedard saga seems to have no end. According to John Hickey of the Seattle PI, this trade most likely won't be finalized untill Friday at the earliest. Bedard is still believed to be at his home in Ottawa, Ontario (Canada) and won't travel to Seattle for his physical untill Thursday. With his physical potentially on Thursday, an announcement won't come untill Thursday evening or Friday. No word or words yet on how Adam Jones and George Sherrill's physicals went. Has a trade taken this long in any sport?

According to the Baltimore Examiner, today was the target day for the Orioles to try and get this trade finished. This is a very slow process.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Spring Training Watch: Brandon Morrow

Next up in our Spring Training Watch series, is Brandon Morrow.

Brandon Morrow was the Mariners' first round pick, fifth overall, in the 2006 Amateur Entry Draft. He made the team out of Spring Training, after proving that he had something to offer. He quickly became a force in the Mariners' bullpen, mainly as a set-up man to closer JJ Putz. His 4.12 ERA isn't a great number, but as a rookie pitching in 63.1 innings with no prior professional expeirence (3IP in A don't really count), that's not too bad. His other numbers are what made him one of the better relievers. Although Morrow isn't amazing at keeping runners off base, his 56 hits and 50 walks weren't too good (in 63.3IP), but he only had a 0.43 HR/9IP, and a pretty good 9.38K/9IP. His total of 66 K's was a very impressive number. His 3-4 record isn't too bad, but isn't usually the most important stat for a reliever. Now that he has got a full season on his resume, I don't think that it's too important to note his minor league stats. But by looking at his stats on the above link, thanks to The Baseball Cube, for the most part his minor PAC 10, and minor league inning or two or three, his stats have basically continued.

As I mentioned, Morrow was the Mariners' set-up man last season. This year, it was said that he might be competing for the number five job, but now that the Mariners have almost completed a trade for Erik Bedard, he will either be back as a set-up man to Putz, or be a starter with the Rainiers (AAA). I'd say that part of what will determine Morrow's fate will be what Mark Lowe does (Lowe's Spring Training Watch page can be viewed here). Morrow's rookie season shouldn't be considered a fluke, unless he actually does suck. He could be a big factor in the Mariners' bullpen this season. Keep an eye on him.

Erik Bedard Trade Might be Almost Done

Your daily update of Erik Bedard rumors. It's amazing that everyday, we get the same stuff being repeated by different people. Today isn't really any different.

Jeff Zrebiac of the Baltimore Sun says that the two teams have agreed to the framework of the trade. He says that according to his sources, there will be five players headed to Baltimore. He also says that the deal isn't official yet, mainly because the physicals have not been taken.

Roch Kubatko of the Baltimore Sun says that Bedard was expected to take his physical today, also saying that this deal is almost done.

The Baltimore Sun now says that Erik Bedard has not taken his physical. The same newspaper can't agree with itself, or, it keeps bsing misinformed. Apparently, Bedard is still at his home in Ontario.

John Hickey of the Seattle PI also agrees that the Bedard trade is almost done.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Erik Bedard Trade Almost Done, For REAL

It's getting close to the end of this saga, as the Mariners quest for an ace pitcher is almost complete. But not according to an article on the Baltimore Sun that was posted earlier today. This article says that no one has taken their physicals yet. It seems that nobody on the Oriole side of this trade thinks that players are or have taken physicals. The Sun then makes a 180, and says that the trade is pending physicals, and Adam Jones is heading to Baltimore to take his.

Geoff Baker checks in with us, sort of confirming Jones going to Baltimore to take his physical, and also saying that the rumors that had Brian Roberts added into the deal aren't true. I don't think that many people thought that they were true in the first place.

Geoff Baker also says that George Sherrill is in Baltimore to take a physical, and Chris Tillman is in the deal. He now confirms that Jones and Sherrill have taken physicals in Baltimore.

Sean Welsh of the Baltimore Examiner says that this trade won't be finalized today, but should be soon.

Finally this trade is coming to a close. I may need to start up something new on this blog, because there won't be many rumors come Spring Training. Only 12+ days untill Erik Bedard, the other pitchers, and catchers report.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

AJ in Baltimore?

John Hickey of the Seattle PI has some interesting news on the Erik Bedard trade.

Mariners outfielder Adam Jones traveled to Baltimore on Sunday, a source said, presumably to undergo a physical examination that originally was scheduled for Jan. 29.

A clean bill of health would be the last hurdle standing between the Mariners and Orioles and one of the most significant trades in franchise history.

The Mariners would get left-handed starting pitcher Erik Bedard in exchange for five players, highlighted by Jones and left-handed reliever George Sherrill. The Mariners also would send three minor league pitchers to the Orioles to complete the deal.

It looks like this deal may be nearing completion soon.

Odds and Ends

A few minor notes from this evening.

  • The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that the Mariners have interest in Bartolo Colon. I don't see this happening, expecially if the Mariners eventually complete an Erik Bedard trade.

  • Mariners bullpen coach Norm Charlton believes that Mike Hargrove burned out his bullpen to try and get a contract extension. For those of you who don't know, Hargrove resigned at the All-Star Break and was replaced by John MacLaren.

  • Baseball America has their Top 10 Prospects and other things for the Mariners.