M’s manager McClendon hopes more moves to come

Jan 25, 2014, 1:47 PM | Updated: 1:51 pm
LISTEN:

By Brent Stecker

The hiring of Lloyd McClendon as manager was just the start of a very noteworthy offseason for the Seattle Mariners.

After Seattle brought McClendon aboard on Nov. 5, it also signed superstar second baseman Robinson Cano to a massive 10-year, $240 million deal, added slugging first baseman/outfielder Corey Hart, and brought in role players including utility man Willie Bloomquist, outfielder Logan Morrison and catcher John Buck. Even the front office was subject to change, as Kevin Mather was promoted Friday to club president and COO to replace the retiring Chuck Armstrong.

mcclendon winter

New Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said he’s more concerned with having leaders on the field than in the clubhouse. (AP)

Even with all those transactions behind them, the Mariners may still yet make some big moves before Spring Training opens on Feb. 13, as McClendon told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Bob and Groz” Friday.

“I’ll just say stay tuned. Hopefully there’s some more things to come,” McClendon said.

The Mariners still have a few needs to fill, specifically in the starting rotation, where it’s expected at least one free agent would fill in a space between All-Stars Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, and prospects Taijuan Walker and James Paxton, who both made their Major League debuts late in 2013. The Mariners were reportedly interested in highly coveted Japanese import Masahiro Tanaka, but the right-hander signed a big contract with the Yankees, leaving Seattle with few other top-of-the-line starting pitcher options.

Regardless of if Seattle signs another starter or a power bat in the outfield (something else its been rumored to be in the market for), McClendon believes the Mariners roster already looks must better than the team he inherited that finished 71-91 in 2013.

“I think we’re getting better,” he said. “You know, you’re always looking to get better. (General manager) Jack (Zduriencik) has done a tremendous job of getting us some talent to this point. From when I took the job to where we are now, we’re a better club.”

Another thing the Mariners were expected to address was clubhouse leadership, especially after a Dec. 7 Seattle Times story painted the franchise as particularly dysfunctional. McClendon said he feels the tales of the Mariners’ lack of leadership was overblown, and that their poor records had more to do with the on-field product.

“I’ve heard this word, leadership, ever since I took the job, and I read all the articles about the club, and lack of leadership in the clubhouse and stuff, and I just don’t buy into that,” McClendon said. “I need leaders on the field. I need guys to hit three-run homers, execute a pitch, make a play, get an out. I can put my cheerleading outfit on with the best of them in the clubhouse and get that done, but I need guys on the field to be good.”

Bob, Groz and Tom

Seahawks RB Chris Carson...
Brent Stecker

Heaps: Bench Chris Carson? Seahawks need him running to make playoffs

Seahawks running back Chris Carson is struggling with fumbles, and it's imperative he corrects the issue, says Jake Heaps. "If this team is going to go to the playoffs, they have to have Chris Carson running the football."
3 years ago
The Groz at T-Mobile Park...
Brent Stecker

Watch: The Groz throws out the 1st pitch before Mariners-Astros game

Dave "The Groz" Grosby was honored by the Mariners on Tuesday night by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Check out video, photos and more from his big night here.
3 years ago
Bob, Groz and Tom...
SeattleSports.com Staff

Highlights from The Groz’s last show on Bob, Groz and Tom

Dave "The Groz" Grosby signed off as a full-time Seattle sports radio host Friday on Bob, Groz and Tom with visits from several notable names from his career.
3 years ago
The Groz...
SeattleSports.com Staff

Watch: Members of the Seattle sports media pay tribute to The Groz

Watch a special tribute to 710 ESPN Seattle's The Groz featuring messages from members of the Seattle sports media to commemorate his 29 years as a daily host in the market.
3 years ago
The Groz...
Brent Stecker

The Groz’s final show on Bob, Groz and Tom airs Friday at noon

Dave "The Groz" Grosby will finish up his 29-year career as a daily Seattle sports radio host on Friday from noon to 3 p.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle's Bob, Groz and Tom.
3 years ago
Mariners OF Kyle Lewis...
Brent Stecker

What sets Mariners OF Kyle Lewis apart from other prospects?

Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis hit his fifth home run in eight games in the big leagues on Wednesday. ROOT Sports analyst Mike Blowers talked to Bob, Groz and Tom about Lewis and what makes him stand out.
3 years ago
M’s manager McClendon hopes more moves to come