Mariners Insider

Archives: Nov. 2011


Outfielder Greg Halman killed in Netherlands

Seattle Mariners outfielder Greg Halman, who played in Tacoma each of the past two seasons, was stabbed to death early Monday in his Netherlands home – and his younger brother, Jason, was arrested for the murder.

Halman was 24, and beyond his athletic abilities was popular with teammates, a smiling player who showed power and grace in working his way through the Mariners farm system.

“I got a call this morning that you never want to get,” Tacoma manager Daren Brown said. “It stunned me, it’s  just unbelievable. I know he was close to his family, and when the season ended

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Coach Alonzo Powell returns to the big leagues

The Tacoma Rainiers lost their hitting coach when the San Diego Padres hired Alonzo Powell, asking him to return to the majors as an assistant batting coach.

Powell played with the Mariners in 1991, worked in their minor league system since 2007 and served as the Seattle hitting coach in 2010.

In San Diego, he’ll be reunited with Phil Plantier - another graduate of the Mariners minor league coaching system. Powell will not sit on the bench during games with San Diego because of MLB’s five-coahes in uniform rule. Instead, he’ll work with hitters during games in the batting cage

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Prince Fielder: Small market for a big man?

While you can never completely trust baseball front offices or – gasp – media reports, it appears that the market for Milwaukee first baseman Prince Fielder is considerably smaller than expected.

Part of that is the perceived price tag: Fielder and agent Scott Boras are looking for a deal that could span 10 years and pay Fielder $250 million.

At the general managers meetings in Milwaukee, teams were lining up to say ‘no, thanks’ – which brought a stirring in the hearts of Seattle Mariners fans. If the market for Fielder is small, their chance to land him grows.  

In theory,

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The Hot Stove League, midweek edition …

The Seattle Mariners don’t seem to be making headlines this week at the general managers meetings in Milwaukee, but that’s hardly a surprise – GM Jack Zduriencik won’t talk about free agents, trade possibilities or much else beyond the weather.

All front offices have their own styles, and that’s been Jack Z’s since his arrival three years ago. Bounce around the majors, however, and there are always rumors sprouting. Need a quick fix?

The Baltimore Orioles are talking to free agent David Ortiz, and the Mets and Red Sox are talking to former Twins closer Matt Capps. Toronto is looking

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The free agent market is sizzling – for infielders

Infielders have largely been the flavor of the day at the general managers meetings, where announced signings include second basemen Mark Ellis (Dodgers) and Aaron Hill (Diamondbacks) and shortstop Jamey Carroll (Twins).

Carroll, who has played second base, landed a two-year, $6.75 million deal with an option season. Ellis has a two-year deal worth $8.75 that also includes an option year. Hill’s extension is a flat two years, but worth $11.5 million.

Outfielders? Well, the San Diego Padres did sign one – Mark Kotsay - for one year at $1.75 million.

Now, a few rumors floating in the ethernet:

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    Brendan Ryan: Still awaiting clearance to swing

    Seattle Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan, whose final two months of the 2011 season were ruined by injury, is still undergoing physical therapy and hasn’t yet been cleared to resume baseball activities.

    Yes, it’s driving him crazy.

    “I watch television with a bat in my hand,” he said from his Los Angels home. “I’m close. I’m a lot better than I was, but I think I expected to bounce back a lot faster than I have.”
    The back spasms that locked his neck up – he couldn’t look left or right on the final day of the season – have eased

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    Willie Bloomquist, Casper Wells and a few links

    Former Seattle Mariner Willie Bloomquist, the Port Orchard player managers loved and some fans hated, signed a two-year contract with the Arizona Diamondback that left a lot of money on the table elsewhere.

    The San Francisco Giants reportedly offered Bloomquist $4.6 million over two seasons – and told him he might open the season as their shortstop. Bloomy, who lives in Arizona with his wife and daughters and loves manager Kirk Gibson, instead took $3.8 million to come back to the Diamondbacks.

    Foolish? I don’t think so. Bloomquist realized what has long been my free agent philosophy: Sign where you’ll

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    How others view the Mariners top prospects

    No team in baseball sees its own prospects the same way other teams do, and the Seattle Mariners love the next crop of youngsters on their way up – but how do others see them?

    One website that’s earned respect,, ranked the top Mariners babies, and came up with two five-star prospects, their highest category, then two four-star candidates and seven three-star babies.  It doesn’t have much to do with who will make the team next spring, but it’s fun to talk about.

    The site raves about two young starting pitchers, right-hander Taijuan Walker and left-hander Danny Hultzen.

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