Mariners Insider

Archives: 2009

Dec.
22nd

The prospect in the Morrow trade is ….

UPDATE: Brandon League talked with mlb.com about the trade, and is excited.

“I’m excited because I had [Mariners pitching coach] Rick Adair as Double-A pitching coach [in New Hampshire in 2004], and in talking with [former Mariners and Jays reliever] Miguel Batista, he had nothing but good things to say about the Mariners, the direction they’re going,” League said. “I’ve heard nothing but good things about [Seattle manager] Don Wakamatsu. I’m excited to be here, excited that they want me, and I’ll be trying to help out as much as I can to win games.”

Perhaps Batista was telling

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Dec.
21st

Report: Morrow being traded to the Blue Jays


UPDATE: There are reports that both Morrow and League are headed to take physicals so this trade could be announced soon. No word on the prospect yet, but names like Brett Wallace and Travis Snider don’t seem likely possibilities.  If  either somehow ends up in the deal, Mariners fans should just erect the statue of Jack Zduriencik tomorrow.

Could yet another former first-round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners be on the move?

Late Monday night, Foxsports.com Ken Rosenthal was reporting via Twitter that the Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays had reached a tentative deal that would send right-handed

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Dec.
18th

M’s trade Silva to Cubs for Bradley

What a week. Ryan and Larry are both out of pocket today. Ryan’s called from Tennessee, where his Griz go for the brass ring today, feeling very bad about not covering this. John McGrath is on it for us. For now, here is Gregg Bell’s AP story on the Carlos Silva-for-Milton Bradley trade:

Mercurial outfielder Milton Bradley was traded to the Seattle Mariners from the Chicago Cubs on Friday for expensive and underperforming pitcher Carlos Silva.

Chicago has been wanting to deal Bradley since the Cubs suspended him for the final two weeks of last season, shortly after he

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Dec.
17th

Lee overcomes initial shock and is ready to be a Mariner

NOTE: I’ m just posting my unedited story for tomorrow’s paper

Cliff Lee said all the right things. He’s excited about the opportunity with the Seattle Mariners, about pitching with Felix Hernandez, the prospect of pitching in pitcher-friendly Safeco Field and having the likes of Franklin Gutierrez, Ichiro Suzuki and Jack Wilson playing defense behind him.

But even over a conference call from Puerto Rico, while he tried to remain positive about his team and new situation, Lee couldn’t hide a tinge of disappointment in his voice.

It’s not that he’s upset about being traded to Seattle. It’s that he

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Dec.
17th

Linkage: It’s over, now the reaction to the Wednesday full of moves

AP photo
AP photo

Greeting from above 10,000 feet, gotta love in-flight Wif-Fi. I’m on my way to Atlanta, where I will be meeting up with some buddies to go watch my alma mater, Montana, take on Villanova in the FCS national championship game on Friday.  So while I’m watching my buddy and fellow Havre native Marc Mariani (above) torch the Wildcats, I probably won’t have any blog stuff on Friday.

Well, I should preface that by saying, there will be no blog stuff unless something breaks.  Expect OF Ryan Langerhans to re-sign with the Mariners in the coming days.

Perhaps it’s not a good idea to plan to take a day away from the Mariners. You never know what may happen. And it’s probably a good thing to be plugged in while on this flight, because “at this point in time,” I think we’ve all come to realize that the Mariners, led by GM Jack Zduriencik, can move and move quickly and move unexpectedly when it comes to transactions. You need to be ready because Jack Z waits for no man, or writer.

Think about how different you feel about the last two years worth of personnel moves in comparison the previous four years under Bill Bavasi.

It’s so refreshing to see how Jack Z works. It started with a minor signing like Russell Branyan that paid dividends, an un-heralded swap – at the time – of Fabian Williams for David Aardsma,  then it was the blockbuster three-team deal for Franklin Gutierrez at last year’s winter meetings. Fast forward to the season where pick-ups like Ryan Langerhans and Jack Hannahan, and Bill Hall to some extent, proved useful. There was the trade to bring in Jack Wilson and Ian Snell. And now the Cliff Lee deal.

These moves are not only smart. But they’ve inspired Mariners fans. The guy might be the most popular executive in the Puget Sound. You hear it in conversations, you see it comments on the blogs and twitters and call ins on sports talk radio.

Mariners fans love Zduriencik and his approach to building the organization.

AP photo
AP photo

Here’s a good example … I had this Twitter conversation (I can’t believe how much I’m started to getting addicted to it) with former TNT co-worker Jeff Nusser, who runs the very cool Coug Center blog – a must for WSU and Pac-1o followers.

Jeff (@NussCoug) –The #mariners seriously just added a top 5 pitcher without touching MLB roster or elite prospects. This stuff doesn’t happen to us. Ever.

Me (@TNTMariners) – you’re telling me Bill Bavasi couldn’t have negotiated this?

@NussCoug – Um, yep — I’m pretty sure that’s what I’m saying

@TNTMariners – Billy B would have given up Saunders, Moore, Aumont, Morrow and FX McCrory’s to get Lee

@NussCoug – The worst part is that Philly wouldn’t have even had to ask — that would have been the initial offer.

And that seems to be the general consensus from Mariners fans. There is a faith and confidence in this front office to make the right decisions to make the team and organization better in the moment and over future seasons.

(Pause for screaming child behind me that my headphones can’t even block out,  we’re only 20 minutes into this flight, it’s going to be a long one).

Let’s get to the links from yesterday’s crazy day of baseball moves …

Here’s my lengthy story about the trade. If you notice at the bottom of the trade, there’s a list of the TOP 10 starting pitching duos in baseball compiled by my boss and long-time baseball fanatic Paul Miller. He puts the duo of Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee No. 1. Here’s the top 3.

1. Mariners: Felix Hernandez (R), Cliff Lee (L)

It’s not really that close … but probably only for a year

2. Cardinals: Chris Carpenter (R), Adam Wainwright (R)

These guys were the leaders until Jack Z stepped in

3. Giants: Tim Lincecum (R), Matt Cain (R)

A rough couple of days for all SF opponents

Columnist Dave Boling writes about Jack Zduriencik and the job he’s doing.

In slightly more than a year of running this team – he was introduced Oct. 24, 2008 – he has acted with a prudent aggressiveness, with both foresight and immediacy. And he’s generally stayed true to the unofficial mission statement he made on the day he was hired: “… when all is said and done, talent wins.”

Elsewhere around the Mariners-sphere …

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Dec.
16th

Wakamatsu: “Nothing gives you a belief system like starting pitching”

Just talked on the phone with Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu, who’s preparing for his first deer hunting trip in Texas.

Obviously, he’s quite elated about his new pitcher.  He’d talked with GM Jack Zduriencik about acquiring Cliff Lee during the winter meetings, but until then he tried not to get overly optimistic knowing how quickly deals can fall apart.

“This has been kicking this around a while since the winter meetings, I was waiting around for it come through,” he said. “I wasn’t going to count my chickens before it happened. There were a lot of things that needed to

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Dec.
16th

The trade is officially done — Cliff Lee is a Mariner

Cliff Lee is a Mariner.

After much speculation and a lot of waiting, the former Cy Young winner will be a Mariner next season.

Despite reports of a three-team deal, it was just  a straight trade with the Phillies with Lee coming to Seattle for Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and JC Ramirez.

From the press release . ..

“We are very excited to have Cliff Lee on-board in the Seattle organization,” GM Jack Zduriencik said “It goes without saying what a quality pitcher and competitor he is and what he will mean to our ballclub and organization.

“I also want

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Dec.
16th

Mariners sign amateur shortstop Pedro Okuda

The search for and the acquisition of talent never ends for general manager Jack Zduriencik .

Today the Mariners announced that they’ve signed 19-year-old shortstop Pedro Okuda to a minor league contract.

Okuda is 5-10, 160 pounds and hits left-handed.

“Pedro is a player that we have been scouting for several years beginning when he participated in the Brazilian Baseball Confederation academy in Brazil and most recently in Japan where he is concluding his high school education,” said Mariners Vice President of International Operations Bob Engle. “Thanks to the efforts of Yasushi Yamamoto and Pat Kelly, we have added a

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