Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik joined Dave Mahler on KJR. He discussed several team related topics.
Here’s a few highlights …
On the payroll needing to improve to take the next step: We are going to have some financial relief this year, boviously with som eof the players that aren’t going to be there. Ichiro’s relief is going to be big. With Brandon League being gone, there is an amount of dollars that is going to be able to be reused. We haven’t talked about what our budget it going to be. I don’t know what it’s going to be. I think when you spend money, you want to spend money wisely. If this is the right year, and if its the right player out there, and if it appears to make sense to go do it and invest, then I have to make a heck of pitch to ownership that this should be the thing we should be doing.
This doesn’t appear to be a great year free agent-wise. Just to make an investment to make an investment just so we can say we did something may not be the prudent thing to do. As much as no one wants to hear this, it might be a year from now when all of the sudden- a year from now the market is a lot better.
Anytime you have more money, it gives you more flexibility, obviously there’s no question about that. It also doesn’t necessarily lead to the best decisions.
On if he had the green light to go after Prince Fielder – To a degree. We had a window to do something with him in terms of what was a comfort level for us. But it never got there.
On Josh Hamilton — There’s a lot of questions we have to answer internally.
On moving the fences — I think it will get a lot of people’s attention. … It’s the psychological part of having a tough ball park to hit in. … With a pitcher, it’s easier for a pitcher to adjust. He can make different pitches with different locations. With a hitter, he has one swing.
On if Chone Figgins will be on the roster next year — I’m not going to answer that now as much as I’d like to. I can’t answer that now, because, who knows? We’ll see what happens. He has a contract – as everyone knows – for next year. But there’s a lot of things that happens over the winter time.
On his thoughts of Figgins comments at the end of the season — “I’m not sure that was the wisest thing to say.”
On Justin Smoak being given the first base job in spring training without competition – No. I wouldn’t say any competition for it. I’m wide open to make this ball club better. These guys aren’t on scholarship, you’ve got to produce. … Whatever Justin Smoak gets, he will either earn it or lose it.