Notebook: 7 Mariners become free agents; Erasmo, Edgar added to MLB Japan All-Star Series
There was a flurry of news and notes following the end of an interesting World Series – one where it wasn’t the use of relievers that took the spotlight but rather starters who were maximized.
If a reliever starting a game is an “opener” what is a starter pitching in a game on his throw day? I doubt this will become a regular season trend but perhaps another step in the direction we have seen of redefining pitching staffs and how they are used.
On to the news.
• With the 2018 season now complete, 145 players became free agents Monday morning. That includes seven Mariners: Nelson Cruz, Gordon Beckham, Zach Duke, Cameron Maybin, David Phelps, Andrew Romine and Adam Warren. Seattle has until Wednesday to make a decision on whether it will pick up an option on Denard Span’s contract. It is hard to see the Mariners picking up the tab of $12 million for 2019, although it is possible they could come up with a new deal. If not, Span will receive a $4 million buyout.
• Free agents can sign with new clubs starting Friday at 2 p.m. That day is also the deadline for teams to reinstate players from the 60-day disabled list. For the Mariners, relievers Sam Tuivailala (Achilles) and Juan Nicasio (knee) will be placed back on the 40-man roster. David Phelps (Tommy John surgery) is no longer on the 60-day DL as he is now a free agent, although we could see something get worked out as both the Mariners and Phelps have expressed interest in him returning to Seattle in 2019.
• The Fielding Bible Awards, which recognize the best defensive player at each position regardless of league, were announced Monday morning. Once again the Mariners were shut out, though Mike Zunino finished second in the voting at catcher. Mitch Haniger tied for fourth in right field and Mike Leake checked in at No. 10 for the pitchers. The full voting breakdown can be found here.
• The rosters for the MLB Japan All-Star Series have been announced. Haniger told us in the final weekend of the season that he would be making the trip, and we learned Monday that another Mariner would be on the squad: pitcher Erasmo Ramirez. Mariners hitting coach Edgar Martinez will also go as part of manager Don Mattingly’s staff. The series will take place from Nov. 8-15. You can view the full roster here.
• Last but not least, Mariners prospects Evan White, Wyatt Mills and David McKay have been selected to play in the Arizona League Fall Stars game Saturday evening at Surprise Stadium.