“PEORIA, Ariz. — With his contract situation clarified by Saturday’s agreement on a one-year deal, Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak said he’s eager to turn his attention to baseball, as position players are scheduled to report on Monday.
Smoak avoided a Wednesday arbitration hearing by agreeing on the $2.63 million deal, which also contains a vesting option for 2015 at $3.65 million. If Smoak accumulates 525 plate appearances this season, the $3.65 million will be guaranteed for the following year. If not, the Mariners have the choice of keeping him for that amount or giving him a $150,000 buyout and letting him return to the arbitration process.”- Seattle Mariners
That’s basically the details you need to know about Smoak. My thoughts? I would’ve cut him loose. After picking up Corey Hart and Logan Morrison and rumors speculating that Jesus Montero might be focusing on 1B.. not sure if there’s room for a Justin Smoak in the line up.
A career .227 BA and smacking 20 HR’s, (19 in 2012) and batting a .230 last season, my mind is skeptical on keeping Smoak around longer than this season. Maybe this is the year he get’s his rhythm and proves the world wrong. I’d love to see that because this year the Mariners have all-star caliber players- and a nice playoff run would return faith to Safeco- especially after that Super Bowl victory by the Seahawks.
The bad news continues to flow as the Mariners report for spring training. First its Iwakuma’s middle finger strain and now Franklin Gutierrez has more health issues that will require him to sit out the entire 2014 season.
Gutierrez resigned with the Mariners earlier in the off-season for a 1/year $1/mil contract. Gutierrez, missing a lot of games in the last couple of seasons was unsure if he’d make it back into the lineup. Now that he’s on the restricted list, he won’t see any of that money or acquire any Major League service time.
With Guti now off the 40-man roster that opens up a spot for Fernando Rodney who has signed with the Mariners earlier this morning for two years at $14 million. Rodney, 36, saved 37 games last season, while posting a 5-4 record and a 3.38 ERA in 68 appearances.
“Valle played in 13 big league seasons – 10 with the Mariners. He interviewed for the Mariners managerial open in the offseason. While it was a longshot for him to get the job, Valle impressed enough people that they decided to offer him a chance to build up his managing resume in the minor leagues.”- Seattle Times (Ryan Divish)
I’m super-stoked about that, sports fans! Since I live so close to Everett, I think it’ll be my obligation to attend as many Aquasox games as I possibly can this year (along with Mariners games). How exciting! This year in Seattle sports has really been turning out to be a gold mine! With all the solid acquisitions that the Mariners have made over the off-season and the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl, I think the Mariners can turn that momentum they have building into something really special.
Welcome, 2014! You’ve been great so far!
|Scott Baker||P||32||Minor League***|
|Joe Beimel||P||36||Minor League**|
|Endy Chavez||OF||36||Minor League**|
|Cole Gillespie||OF||29||Minor League**|
|Logan Kensing||P||31||Minor League**|
|Matt Palmer||P||34||Minor League**|
|Humberto Quintero||C||34||Minor League**|
|Ramon Ramirez||P||32||Minor League**|
|Mark Rogers||P||28||Minor League**|
*: performance bonuses included in contract
**: player was invited to spring training
***: player was invited to spring training AND has performance bonuses included in contract
That’s the break down of what has happened with the Seattle Mariners over the course of the off-season. Excited much?
It’s been forever since I updated my new blog! I’ve been so busy with other things this off-season much like the Mariners have. The last time I blogged here was about Robinson Cano rumors. And that quickly escalated into actually signing that guy to a long-term contract! I still can’t believe the Mariners signed him!
It gets better, though! This is all old news to most die-hard Mariners fans but I wanted to give my expert, unofficial baseball opinion and update my Facebook page while doing so.
Robinson Cano is going to do a lot for the Mariners. Even if he’s a bust and doesn’t produce like a multi-million dollar prodigy player, he will still attract other big names to Safeco Field. I have this feeling that other players are a little timid to come play for the Mariners. Lets face it M’s fans; the Mariners don’t have the best track record of winning championships and our glory days were in the mid-nineties. So I totally understand why players would rather play for the Yankees.
Corey Hart, if he stays healthy, I think, will make a huge impact in right field. He can also play first base. I’m not sure what the story is on Justin Smoak but I’m truly excited to see Hart play some baseball in Seattle. I think he will attract a great fan-base in the right field and I think it will bring a lot of attention to his career that he’s a solid player. Not that he didn’t get that in Milwaukee…
Logan Morrison. Are you kidding me?! What a great addition to an already all-star caliber team! Not only will Seattle finally get a little LoMo-ing in but I think his attitude will help lighten the tension in Safeco.
John Buck has been one of my favorite catchers of all time. Even since I first started watching him play in Kansas City, it’s finally awesome to see him play for Seattle. As a backup catcher to Zunino and Montero, I think Buck will see a lot of playing time this year and he will make a fine addition to coaching these younger guys.
Safeco Field is going to be the place to be this year and I’m really glad they opened up the ‘Pen area and made those additions to the fences. Hopefully they can come up with a catchy slogan this year!
It’s time for Mariners baseball!
Twitter is buzzing with Robinson Cano rumors. I’ve read 9 years at $240 mil and I’ve read 10 years at $225 mil. And, of course, everything in between. Many people might think Seattle is overpaying Cano but I look at this as a positive sign that the Mariners are finally doing something. Cano might hit a huge pay day and it might be with Seattle since Cano’s Dad is saying the Yankees aren’t even interested (and counter-offered the Mariners by way less). Jack Z has been looking for a big bat and here is a big bat.
This will be very good for Seattle to have Cano as clean-up. That way Seager can bat fifth and Miller or Franklin can bat third (in front of Cano) which gives both Miller or Franklin and Kyle Seager a chance to see a lot of good pitches because pitchers aren’t going to want to face Cano. It’s going to develop those guys a lot quicker and they will be great hitters.
Its a good move to pursue Cano, dontcha’ know (sorry, had to put that in there). Also, with Willie Bloomquist as utility, I think the Mariners are setting themselves up with success. I’d say deal Justin Smaok away and put Miller or Franklin at first base and keep Seager at third. Boom.
Punch your playoff tickets now, Mariners fans!
I finished up my latest blog entry concerning the Mariners coaching staff overhaul, I quietly crawled into bed last night and went to sleep. When I woke up this morning, the first thing I did was check my Twitter account and my emails. To my surprise the Mariners had announced the new coaching staff for 2014! I was ecstatic and promptly opened up my email to find out who had been chosen!
Andy Van Slyke: Huge, HUGE, Van Slyke fan! He played 13 seasons in the bigs, eight with the Pirates, four with the Cardinals, one with the Phillies and one with the Baltimore Orioles. As Lookout Landing tweeted earlier in the day, “My baseball card collection is buzzing!” No doubt will I try to get his autograph at the Safe next season! Hell, I may just get it at Fanfest ’14 to save the trouble!
Howard Johnson: HoJo! I nearly did a back flip when I saw his name pop up! Howard Johnson as the Mariners hitting coach?! Johnson’s 14 seasons in the Bigs is very well spread out as well. Playing the majority of his career with the New York Mets, he’s also played with the Tigers, Cubs, and Rockies. A career .249 hitter with 228 home runs in 4940 at-bats, I’d say Johnson is well versed in teaching young talent how to hit the ball.
Rick Waits is the new pitching coach while Mike Rojas is the bullpen coach and Chris Woodward will serve as the infield coach. Jason Phillips stays as the bullpen catcher along with Dave Hansen will remain as the assistant hitting coach if looking for another team to coach falls through.
Is it March yet?!
You’ve probably heard by now that the Mariners have overhauled the coaching staff. With Eric Wedge not returning and Lloyd McClendon stepping up to the plate to fill the role as Seattle’s new skipper, it only seemed like the right thing to do to get a whole new crew in there.
“The purging of the Mariners coaching staff continued this week, with the team firing pitching coach Carl Willis and demoting bullpen coach Jaime Navarro to a minor-league position.” writes Geoff Baker for the Seattle Times. Willis had interviewed for the Phillies unsuccessfully, and returned a phone call from Jack Z, apparently explaining that (Willis) won’t be returning to the Mariners.
Bench coach Robby Thompson was also let go and Jeff Datz has yet to inform the team that he will be accepting a scouting role that had been offered to him. Third base coach Daren Brown, hitting coach Dave Hansen and bullpen catcher Jason Phillips are all waiting for decisions to be made regarding their roles with the Mariners.
McClendon has yet to put together a coaching staff for the 2014 season.
If the Mariners don’t do anything else during this offseason, the one thing they could do is; learn from the Franklin Gutierrez fiasco. Don’t get me wrong. I love Guti…when he was healthy and playing.
Matt Kemp has missed 145 games in the last two seasons due to various injuries. The plus side is; he’s only two years removed from finishing second in MVP voting with 39 home runs, 136 RBIs, 353 total bases, and a .324 batting average. Another pitfall the Mariners would be looking at is his six year $128 million dollar contract the Dodgers are trying to wipe off their books. That’s a huge investment into a player who is seemingly made of glass.
Why are the Dodgers putting Kemp on the trading block? Well, it’s painfully obvious. Their outfield is stacked, he’s always hurt and Carl Crawford and Andre Either are available. End of story.
The Mariners need some veteran help, no doubt about it. I’d seek other options though.