Posted on: February 22, 2012 1:22 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 2:35 pm
By Matt Snyder
The Mariners are coming off a 67-95 season, when they finished 29 games out in the AL West -- seven behind the third-place A's. It was the sixth time in the past eight years Seattle came in last and they haven't seen the postseason since 2001. One big trade headlined the offseason as they attempt to turn the tide.
Scott Miller's Camp Report: With Jesus, Seattle seeks resurrection | Likes, Dislikes
Major additions: C/DH Jesus Montero, RHP Kevin Millwood, C John Jaso, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma
Major departures: RHP Michael Pineda, UT Adam Kennedy
1. Chone Figgins, 3B
2. Dustin Ackley, 2B
3. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
4. Justin Smoak, 1B
5. Jesus Montero, DH
6. Mike Carp, LF
7. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
8. Miguel Olivo, C
9. Brendan Ryan, SS
1. Felix Hernandez
2. Jason Vargas
3. Hisashi Iwakuma
4. Kevin Millwood
5. Hector Noesi
Blake Beavan and Charlie Furbush are also in the mix.
Closer: Brandon League
Set-up: RHP Shawn Kelley, LHP George Sherrill
Important bench players
C John Jaso, IF Kyle Seager, OF Casper Wells, OF Trayvon Robinson
Prospect to watch
With the second overall pick in the 2011 draft, the Mariners pegged left-handed starting pitcher Danny Hultzen from the University of Virginia. It's likely his presence -- in addition to Furbush, Beaven and prospects Taijuan Walker and James Paxton -- made it easier to deal Pineda for some offensive help. Hultzen appeared in the top 30 overall in most prospect rankings this spring and is said to be close to big-league ready. The M's likely don't have a reason to rush him, but if he's ready come June or July, it wouldn't be surprising to see him make an impact this season.
Fantasy sleeper: Kyle Seager
"Seager isn't much of a home-run threat, and playing home games at Safeco Field won't help matters, but his gap power and keen batting eye could help him to an average in the .290 to .300 range, if not higher. Owners may look at last season's .258 mark, his lack of prospect hype and his place in a less-than-imposing Mariners lineup and discount him. However, Seager's ability to get on base and rack up doubles makes him worth a late-round flier in mixed league formats." - Al Melchior [Full Mariners team fantasy preview]
Fantasy "head-to-head hero:" Dustin Ackley
"Ackley's in-the-park extra-base hits will make him one of the seven or eight best second basemen in Head-to-Head, but the potential for mediocre homer and run production makes him a later-round option for mixed league Roto owners." - Al Melchior [Full Mariners team fantasy preview]
Ackley and Montero become stars, Figgins returns to form, a finally-healthy Gutierrez returns to form as well and Ichiro thrives in the 3-hole, finally giving the Mariners a viable offense. Iwakuma adjusts to America impressively while Hultzen storms onto the scene in early June to provide an additional pitching boost. The Rangers and Angels suffer major injury and underachievement issues, and the Mariners shock everyone by winning the AL West.
Heading into this season, expect the Mariners to be picked third by pretty much everyone. Thus, the pessimistic outlook would be that the Mariners find a way to finish below the A's. If the offense sputters, younger players stall in their development and the rotation behind King Felix proves thin -- which is possible -- that last place finish could repeat.
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Tags: Adam Kennedy, AL West, Blake Beavan, Brandon League, Brendan Ryan, Casper Wells, Charlie Furbush, Chone Figgins, Danny Hultzen, Dustin Ackley, Felix Rodriguez, Franklin Gutierrez, George Sherrill, Hector Moesi, Hisashi Iwakuma, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ichiro Suzuki, Jason Vargas, Jesus Montero, John Jaso, John Jason, Justin Smoak, KEvin Millwood, Kevin Millwood, Kyle Seager, Mariners, Michael Pineda, Miguel Olivo, Mike Carp, Shawn Kelly, spring training, Trayvon Robinson
Posted on: December 1, 2011 2:18 pm
By Matt Snyder
The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed infielder Adam Kennedy to a one-year contract, the ballclub announced Thursday. The deal is worth a reported $800,000.
“Adam gives us infield depth and an experienced left-handed bat,” general manager Ned Colletti said in a statement. “He provides us with infield versatility at second and third base and can play first as well.”
Kennedy, 35, is from Riverside, Calif. and still resides in Orange County, so it's a bit of a return home. Plus, he played seven of his 13 major-league seasons for the Los Angeles Angels -- where he won the 2002 ALCS MVP.
Kennedy hit .234/.277/.355 with 23 doubles and seven homers in 409 plate appearances last season for the Mariners. Don't expect him to start much, but Kennedy could be used to spell Juan Uribe and Mark Ellis at third and second base, respectively, on occasion.
FREE AGENT TRACKER
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Posted on: November 30, 2011 7:48 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 3:22 pm
While we all wait for tomorrow's 5:30 p.m. ET coronation of Bobby Valentine as the new manager of the Red Sox, here's the latest roundup of rumors, tidbits and other goings on around the baseball world -- or at least the internet part of it.
South Korean right-hander Chong Tae-Hyon is trying to decide between staying in his home country or joining the Orioles. The 33-year-old has been an All-Star in Korean and is a free agent for the first time. He's gaining plenty of interest in Korea, but would likely get a multi-year deal and a spot on the Orioles' 40-man roster, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The Orioles are also joining the sweepstakes for Cuban outfielder Yoennis Cespedes, Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com writes.
Speaking of Cespedes, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo watched him work out in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post writes. He notes the Nationals were in attendance at a showcase for Cespedes in early November, before the now-famous video was released.
Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison will meet with a doctor this week to determine if he needs surgery on his right knee, Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post writes. Morrison said he twice ran into walls, including one incident that required five stitches to close a cut.
Infielder Adam Kennedy has agreed to a one-year deal with the Dodgers worth $800,000 to serve as a left-handed bat off the bench and a utility player. Kennedy spent 2010 with the Mariners, hitting .234/.277/.355 with seven home runs. (Orange County Register)
The Giants are looking to move either Jeremy Affeldt or right-hander Ramon Ramirez,Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reports. The team picked up Affeldt's $5 million option for 2012. Ramirez is in his third year of arbitration and should get a bump from the $1.65 million he made last season. Right-hander Sergio Romo is also arbitration-eligible.
If somehow the Cardinals don't end up re-signing Albert Pujols, the team could look to sign Jimmy Rollins to fill its hole at shortstop, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. However, the team is stuck in a holding pattern until Pujols makes his final decision.
The good news for White Sox fans is that the team is cutting some of its ticket prices -- however that may be in anticipation of "gutting" the team, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. The team doesn't expect to get Mark Buehrle back and could look to trade lefty John Danks before he reaches free agency.
And, finally, to go back full circle to Valentine and the Red Sox, sources told WEEI.com's Alex Speier that after Terry Francona got the ax, Red Sox officials told at least one player that the team wasn't going to hire "someone like Bobby Valentine." Perhaps they forgot to add, "but maybe the real Bobby Valentine." ESPN.com's Buster Olney wrote that Red Sox players are already none too happy about the hiring, complaining about some of the things Valentine said about them on the air as ESPN's analyst.
Tags: 2012 free agency, 2012 MLB Free Agency, 2012 MLB Free Agents, 2012 MLB Hot Stove, Adam Kennedy, AL Central, AL East, Albert Pujols, Bobby Valentine, C. Trent Rosecrans, Chong Tae-Hyon, Cuba, Dodgers, free agency, free agent tracker, Giants, Jeremy Affeldt, Jimmy Rollins, John Danks, Korea, Logan Morrison, Mark Buehrle, Marlins, MLB Free Agency, MLB Free Agents, MLB Hot Stove, Nationals, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Orioles, Pete Orr, Phillies, Ramon Ramirez, Red Sox, Scott Elarton, Scott Podsednik, White Sox, Yoenis Cespedes
Posted on: November 29, 2011 4:01 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 4:32 pm
There's going to be tons of rumor talk this week, as we inch closer to the Winter Meetings next week. That goes without saying. Some stuff will pan out and other rumors will never come to fruition.
Since not every reader is sitting on Twitter all day, we'll pass along as much as we can. Let's run through a quick snapshot of some of the more minor rumors from Tuesday morning and early afternoon. Remember, these are reports from other outlets that we're just passing along. Feel free to believe or ignore whatever you wish.
• Right-handed reliever Octavio Dotel -- who was an important member of the Cardinals bullpen after a midseason trade -- is drawing interest from a handful of teams, reports indicate. MLB.com says the Mets and Cardinals are in the running while FoxSports.com names the Cardinals, Reds and Tigers. Dotel is 38, but posted a high strikeout rate for the Cardinals (11.7 K/9, his best since '08) and threw well in the postseason.
• The White Sox are trying to trade left-handed reliever Matt Thornton, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.com. Thornton is owed $12 million over the course of the next two seasons. The 35-year-old was excellent from 2008-2010 but took a step back in 2011. Of course, if you look at just June 5 to the end of the season, he was back to himself (2.20 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 44 K in 41 innings).
• The Cubs have interest in Rockies third baseman Ian Stewart (via trade), reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post, though Renck notes the level of "seriousness is unclear." Stewart makes a lot of sense as a trade candidate. Once a top-10 prospect (Baseball America had him as high as fourth in all of baseball), Stewart hit 25 homers for Colorado in 2009. But he's been unable to fix his issues with strikeouts, batting average or consistency and seems to have fallen out of favor. He'd probably come cheap, so the Cubs plugging him at third base -- with Aramis Ramirez headed out via free agency -- could work. Stewart's only 26, so maybe a change of scenery would help.
• The Dodgers are speaking with representatives for Adam Kennedy, reports MLB Trade Rumors. Kennedy would simply serve as a multi-positional backup infielder. The 35-year-old hit .234/.277/.355 last season for the Mariners. He'd be shaky at shortstop, but could handle first, second or third just fine.
• The Marlins are interested in Carlos Guillen, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com. The three-time All-Star is now 36 and has only averaged 72 games a year in the past four seasons due to injury woes. He'd also likely be simply a multi-positional backup or late-innings pinch hitter.
• This isn't a rumor, but we'll throw it in here. The Phillies have released relief pitcher Scott Mathieson so he can pursue a contract in Asia, the club announced via press release.
Hat-tip: MLB Trade Rumors
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: 2012 free agency, 2012 MLB Free Agency, 2012 MLB Free Agents, 2012 MLB Hot Stove, Adam Kennedy, AL Central, AL Central, Cardinals, Carlos Guillen, Cubs, Dodgers, free agency, free agent tracker, Ian Stewart, Marlins, Matt Snyder, Matt Thornton, Mets, MLB Free Agency, MLB Free Agents, MLB Hot Stove, MLB Rumors, NL Central, NL East, NL West, Octavio Dotel, Phillies, Reds, Rockies, Scott Mathieson, Tigers, White Sox
Posted on: October 7, 2011 11:23 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 5:20 pm
By Evan Brunell
Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...Team name: Philadelphia Phillies
Record: 102-60, First place NL East. Lost NLDS to St. Louis, 3-2.
Manager: Charlie Manuel
Best hitter: Shane Victorino -- .279/.355/.491, 17 HR, 95 R, 19 SB
Best pitcher: Roy Halladay -- 19-6, 233 2/3 IP, 2.35 ERA, 35 BB, 220 K
2011 SEASON RECAP
The Phillies didn't waste time asserting their superiority, running out to an 18-8 record. Cliff Lee needed some time to get going in uniform, racking up a 4.15 ERA in five starts, but better times were on the way. Meanwhile, the other three aces didn't have any problem locking down games, even though the offense was exposed with the loss of Jayson Werth. Ben Francisco got April off to a rollicking start, but tailed off in May as the club went 16-13. Vance Worley, who stepped into the rotation to replace Joe Blanton, made his first start on April 29, posting a 2.14 ERA in his first five starts.
The club then registered two consecutive 17-win months and struck for Hunter Pence at the trade deadline. Philly then ran a nine-game winning streak into August, leading to their best month with an 18-7 record. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, their shot at extending their 102 victories higher was derailed by a September that saw an eight-game losing streak. Despite that, they were so dominant, they posted a 30-10 record in blowout games, as defined by Baseball Reference.
The playoffs were another story, though, as the Phillies lost in five games to the wild-card winning Cardinals. The offense was mostly the culprit.
Philadelphia is still the class of the NL, even though everyone is one year older. Fortunately, the team is shedding the contracts of Raul Ibanez and Brad Lidge most notably, so there is payroll flexibility to be had that will allow for a significant signing. It will still be some time before the Phillies drastically drop out of contention, and the club needs to continue its philosophy of putting all its eggs in one basket and contending while it still can. Flags fly forever.
FREE AGENTSRoss Gload, 1B
Raul Ibanez, LF
Brad Lidge, RP ($12.5 million club option)
Ryan Madson, RP
Roy Oswalt, SP ($16 million mutual option)
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Brian Schneider, C
Posted on: September 23, 2011 3:31 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2011 4:58 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...Team name: Seattle Mariners
Record: 66-90, 24 games back in AL West
Manager: Eric Wedge
Best hitter: Dustin Ackley -- .283/.359/.431, 6 HR, 35 RBI, 37 R, 14 2B, 6 SB
Best pitcher: Felix Hernandez -- 14-13, 3.32 ERA, 1.181 WHIP, 220 K, 230 1/3 IP
The Mariners aren't going to lose 100 games, so there's that. The team has done that in two of the last four seasons, so at least that's not going to happen in 2011. But for a team that was in contention through the first three months of the season, 2011 will be a disappointment, regardless of the final tally.
2011 SEASON RECAP
No matter what else happened in 2011, the Mariners' season will be most remembered for a 17-game losing streak in July, sandwiched around the All-Star break. The Mariners were at .500, 43-43 and just 2.5 games out of first place after beating the A's on July 5. After their next win they were 14.5 games out and held just a 44-60 record.
Even when the Mariners were a half-game behind the Rangers in June, nobody expected it to last. It was more of a nice surprise than any kind of real run toward the playoffs.
However, there were two huge positives -- the performances of rookies Ackley and Michael Pineda. Pineda opened the season in the team's rotation and immediately appeared to be the prince to King Felix. Pineda, 22, is 9-10 with a 3.74 ERA, but started the season 8-5 with a 2.58 ERA in his first 17 starts. He had some struggles, but the talent is obvious and even had some people even mentioning the possibility of a trade of Hernandez. That's not going to happen, instead the team will have a fearsome front of the rotation for years to come.
Ackley came up later in the season, but has done nothing but hit since singling off of Roy Oswalt in his first big-league at-bat.
While the kids impressed, the veterans were another story. Even the incomparable Ichiro Suzuki struggled in 2011, as it appears he'll fall short of 200 hits for the first time in his MLB career. Suzuki had a career .331 batting average coming into the season in which he's hit just .274/.312/.340. Chone Figgins continues to be a disaster, hitting .188/.241/.243, and is under contract through 2013. While Figgins is still around, Milton Bradley isn't, as the team designated him for assignment in May after he removed himself from a game and left the stadium. Franklin Guitierrez has never recovered from a stomach ailment, hitting just .224/.261/.273.
It appears the 2012 lineup is set -- or at least it is contractually. That's the good news. The bad news is that it's pretty much the same as it was this year when the team had the worst offense in the American League by just about any measurable statistic.
At this point, it seems like the best chance the Mariners have is hoping their pitching is good enough to carry them for most of the year and the likes of Justin Smoak, Trayvon Robinson, Casper Wells and Mike Carp. Yeah, that's not a lot to hang your hat on, but that's about where we are.
The team needs more offense, that's for sure. But where does it come from? The team has Bradley, Yuniesky Betancourt and Carlos Silva coming off the books -- but that's enough to make any GM balk at bringing in another big free-agent contract. And that doesn't even mention the $18 million still owed to Figgins. Ichiro will be in his last year under contract at $18 million and nobody's going to take him off their hands.
But the team still needs offensive help, so here's some suggestions that could help out the Mariners:
If the Mariners get close to .500 and the rest of the division struggles (it could happen), things could get much better -- or at least more interesting in Seattle in 2012. But it's not until 2013 when Ichiro and others come off the books that the next generation of Mariners can take over.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Tags: Adam Dunn, Adam Kennedy, AL West, Blake Beavan, Brandon League, C. Trent Rosecrans, Carlos Silva, Casper Wells, Chone Figgins, Chris Ray, Doug Fister, Dustin Ackley, Franklin Guitierrez Felix Hernandez, Ichiro Suzuki, Jack Zduriencik, Jamey Wright, Justin Smaok, Mariners, Michael Pineda, Mike Carp, Milton Bradley, Prince Fielder, R.I.P., Trayvon Robinson, Yuniesky Betancourt
Posted on: June 1, 2011 11:01 pm
By Evan Brunell
The No. 2 overall pick of the 2009 draft in Dustin Ackley is on the verge of a promotion to the Mariners, where he will play second base.
And that's a position written in stone. Ackley hasn't received favorable reviews for his play at second, with many speculating he could be moved to left field as soon as immediately given the struggles of Seattle left fielders.
Not happening, says GM Jack Zduriencik to the Seattle Times. "We view Ackley as our second baseman going forward,'' he said.
Ackley is hitting .292/.400/.475 for Triple-A and would immediately inject some offense into the flagging team that currently has Adam Kennedy manning second. Kennedy has actually been solid on the year so far, with a .285/.317/.438 line, so there was some thought that Kennedy could move to left. Again, no dice. Kennedy is a platoon player who plays only against right-handers, and has only 13 career games in the outfield, being used strictly for emergency purposes.
While the Mariners could ask Kennedy to play more often in the outfield, it wouldn't be more than once a week, as Zduriencik said, so Kennedy's not the answer in the outfield. The Mariners will attempt to keep his bat in the lineup by phasing Ackley in with part-time duty, as well as using Kennedy at the other infield positions when the incumbent starters need a day off.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: January 27, 2011 3:15 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2011 7:36 pm
There's an old joke that pornography is the only place where you have to just show up in one movie and you're automatically a "star." Well, according to TMZ.com , baseball may fit in that same group. The gossip site calls Adam Kennedy -- the former Angel and current holder of a minor-league contract with an invite to big league camp for the Seattle Mariners -- a star.
Oh, and Kennedy was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence on Thursday, TMZ.com reported. This isn't to try to make light of the charge -- a serious one that is all too common in our society -- but it's just what jumped out to me. Kennedy was stopped by the California Highway Patrol (cue the music) around 9 p.m. on the freeway near Newport Beach, arrested, booked and released several hours later.
It's the second arrest of the offseason for the Mariners. Milton Bradley was arrested on a felony charge of making a threat against a woman earlier this month. But this is the team that traded for Josh Lueke, so there's that.
Kennedy hit .249/.327/.327 in 135 games for the Nationals last season.
UPDATE: The Seattle Times ' Larry Stone has confirmed the report and spoken to general manager Jack Zduriencik, who gave a no comment: "I don't have any details,'' he said. "Until I get some information, I'm going to refrain from commenting.''
UPDATE: Kennedy's at least saying the right things right now. Stone talked to him and he was contrite .
"I want to let you know this is not the typical character of me,'' he said. "It's something I'm really ashamed of, and not proud to bring to the Seattle Mariners, especially not having put on the uniform. It's my first legal trouble -- something I'm definitely not looking to ever do again.''
Kennedy said he was at dinner with friends and pulled over for speeding. When he took a breathalyzer test, he came up "a little above the limit." However, he added that it was "not acceptable" to be driving in that condition.
He said he's already talked to Zduriencik and the message was clear from the front office that it was unacceptable. He said his lawyer would take care of the legal side.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans