By Shannon Drayer
A great follow on Twitter if you are interested in Japanese baseball is @yakyunightowl. Late Thursday night Yakyu passed on this bit of good news.
Congratulations to Kazuhiro Sasaki. Greatest closer in Seattle Mariners history going into Hall of Fame in Japan. pic.twitter.com/3LEnvLKMfx
â€¢ Yakyu Night Owl (@yakyunightowl) January 17, 2014
Congratulations indeed. Sasaki will be going into the Hall of Fame along with Hideo Nomo, who becomes just the third player to be honored as a first-ballot inductee.
Closer to home, the Mariners have announced they have signed RHP Logan Kensing and catcher Many Pina to minor league deals with invitations to spring training.
Kensing, 31, has spent parts of seven seasons in the big leagues with the Marlins, Nationals and Rockies.
Pina, 26, came up with the Rangers and has also played in the Royals organization. By all appearances these are depth moves which bring the Mariners spring training roster to 61, including 30 pitchers (12 non-roster) and seven catchers (four non-roster).
One last Friday note: today was the day teams and arbitration-eligible players were required to exchange numbers. According to The News Tribune Justin Smoak has asked for $3.25 million while the Mariners have offered $2.025 and Logan Morrison is seeking $2.8 million while the team is offering $1.1 million.
Most of the numbers around baseball have come out and by the looks of things, players and agents are looking for a bump with the national television money each team should be getting. Some players and teams are in the same ballpark but others are miles apart.
The two sides can negotiate right up until the arbitration hearings, but once they are in the hearing then it is an either/or situation. The arbitrator does not come up with middle ground. He chooses one number or the other. It will be interesting to see how many cases actually make it to arbitration this year and what kind of jump we see if any.