By Shannon Drayer
A ton of news, notes and follow up from last week to get to. First, some posts may have been missed because they were pushed down in the order quickly because of other news, so if you missed the latest from Logan Bawcom you might want to go back and check it out. His post dealt with a problem that many players from the US run into that no doubt impacts their performance. Also, some thoughts on Hisashi Iwakuma’s third place finish and what could be next for him.
A number of you have participated in a mostly productive discussion about the offseason on my previous post. The latest Tweet to cause a stir comes from ESPN’s Buster Olney.
Seattle Mariners have indicated winter priorities to others: No. 2-type starting pitcher (Garza?); closer; two frontline power hitters.
â€” Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 15, 2013
Jack Zduriencik has said that he wants to add a couple of bats and a starting pitcher. Two frontline power hitters? Well yeah, that would be great. No. 2 starter? Go for it. Love that idea and it may be more attainable than the frontline bats. The closer thing is new. So to recap, Olney is hearing they are aiming high at a lot of targets. A lot of expensive targets. Interesting.
Speaking of expensive targets, I looked into the interest in Matt Kemp story and found out that the Mariners were one of a large number of teams that have asked about him. It does not appear that there has been any sort of negotiation, but rather it was just one of countless asks that no doubt took place during the General Managers Meetings. If the Dodgers are looking to trade Kemp, especially if they are going to eat part of his salary, there will be plenty of teams interested.
Last follow up note: The Japanese posting system is now very much up in the air. MLB submitted proposed changes to the NPB, which was slow to agree to them. As a result, the proposal was pulled off the table for a number of reasons. Interesting read and tough to tell what the final outcome will be and how this will effect the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes.
Medical staff honored
Congratulations to head athletic trainer Rick Griffin, Medical Director Dr. Edward Khalfayan and the entire Mariners medical staff for winning the 2013 Martin-Monahan Award. The award is presented annually to the medical staff that contributed most to their organization. The Mariners had the second-fewest days lost to injury in baseball last season, and only two pitchers spent extended time on the DL.
Former Mariners on the move
Alex Liddi, who was picked up by the Orioles after being DFA’d early last season by the Mariners, has signed a minor league contract with the White Sox. And Randy Messenger (remember him?) is returning to the Hanshin Tigers after signing a three-year contract that some are reporting to be the largest deal given to an American-born pitcher in Japan.
Cleaning out the closet?
The Mariners grounds crew has been up to good. For the third straight year Bob Christofferson and his crew are holding a coat drive to support the Battered Women’s Society YWCA and the Boys and Girls Club. You can bring your new or used coats to the front desk at Safeco Field (Third Base Entrance, 1250 First Avenue South) from now until Dec. 14.