Mariners Insider

Archives: Nov. 2009


Jose Lopez untradeable? And morning links

 The Seattle Mariners are more convinced now than they were the day the season ended that Jose Lopez will be their second baseman on opening night 2010.

It’s not necessarily what they had in mind.

As we’ve been saying here for two months, Lopez is one of the few trading chips Seattle has this winter, along with pitchers Brandon Morrow and Mark Lowe. At the GM meetings, the Mariners talks with other teams often included a mention of Lopez.

No one bit. No one showed the slightest interest in giving up anything Seattle needs for Jose Lopez.

The problem is

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Mets check out Branyan, and morning links

The New York Mets came sniffing around free agent first baseman Russell Branyan this week, which might be good news for the Seattle Mariners.

True, the Mets could certainly throw down a larger offer than Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik has made, but what Branyan is far more likely to find out is that a two-year deal for him doesn’t exist on the open market.

That’s what he wants in Seattle,  and it’s the sticking point in negotiations, so far.

From Branyan’s point of view, a multi-year deal is understandable. At 33, he had the best season of a career that began in

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Omar’s back, but not in the AL West

Omar Vizquel signed that one-year, $1.375 million deal with the Chicago White Sox we mentioned last week, and he may owe a piece of it to Ken Griffey Jr.

Last September in a Mariners-Rangers series, Junior wound up at second base when Omar was playing second, and the two chatted during a pitching change.

“I told him I was thinking about retiring,” Vizquel said. “Kenny said that word wasn’t in his vocabulary. He said he wanted to play as long as he was having fun and someone wanted him.

“It got me thinking.”

Vizquel, 42, will be the backup middle

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The all-new Mariners (again) and morning links

When they opened their first season under general manager Jack Zduriencik and manager Don Wakamatsu last April, the Seattle Mariners were a far different team than they’d been in 2008.

Six players made their first opening day roster – Roy Corcoran, Chris Jakubauskas, Shawn Kelley, Rob Johnson, Matt Tuiasosopo and Wladimir Balentien.

There were also the newly acquired Mariners: Franklin Gutierrez, Endy Chavez, Ken Griffey Jr., Russell Branyan, Mike Sweeney, Ronny Cedeno and David Aardsma.

In all, that was 13 players who weren’t on the team one year earlier. A major roll over, and part of what led the Mariners

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Who’s on third? And your morning links

Any team casting about for a free agent third baseman could do worse than to pursue a man with two Gold Gloves who has averaged 143 games, 150 hits, 34 doubles 20 home runs, 79 RBI and 10 stolen bases over the last five years.

Yes, folks, that would be Adrian Beltre.

The same Beltre who chased neck-high pitches and swung from his shoes, who signed a deal with Seattle that – counting his $7 million signing bonus – averaged $12.8 million a year.

What’s the market for Beltre? If you read the speculation, some of it fueled

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A Felix-scenario in Florida, and a few a.m. links

If you’re looking for the worst-case scenario for a team and its young ace – think Felix Hernandez - look no further than the Florida Marlins and Josh Johnson.

Johnson is 25, has a 34-16 record as a Marlin and, since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2007, has a record of 22-6 with an ERA of 3.34.

He’s also got two years of arbitration eligibility before free agency. Sound familiar?

The Marlins and Johnson’s agent, Matt Sosnick, were seeking a four-year contract and told Florida it was ‘now or never.’

The Marlins offered three years – the first multi-year offer

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Mariners surprise: Dustin Ackley, 2B …

The Seattle Mariners are working up an ‘intriguing experiment’ this winter – letting top draft pick Dustin Ackley work out as a second baseman.

A shortstop in high school, an outfielder/first baseman in college, Ackley has been taking ground balls at second base the past month in the Arizona Fall League.

“Our philosophy is to let players play multiple positions in the minor leagues,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “It just gives you options, and gives you more information to make a quality decision.

“The idea came from his college coach.”

Ackley hasn’t played second in a game, and won’t

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Mariners move to get 37 on their 40-man roster

In a flurry of moves to firm up their 40-man roster, the Seattle Mariners added six players, reinstated two from the disabled list, outrighted one man and lost two others to waiver claims.

By the end of the day, general manager Jack Zduriencik and his staff and put 37 names on that 40-man roster.

The Mariners added outfielder Ezequiel Carrera, right-handed pitchers Danny Cortes, RHP Ricky Orta, J.C. Ramirez and Anthony Varvaro and left-hander Edward Paredes.

Left-hander Ryan Feierabend and right-hander Sean White were taken off the 60-day disabled list, and infielder Josh Wilson was outrighted to Tacoma.

Chris Jakubauskas

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