Tagged: Seattle Mariners Rumors

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Rumor: Ichiro Staying in Seattle

Guest Blogged by Derek Wonderland

Several sources, including the Seattle Times and the Los Angeles Times, are reporting that Mariners star CF Ichiro Suzuki will sign a five year contract extension, which would keep him in Seattle through 2012. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but it is believed to be in the neighborhood of 5 years and $100 million. Ichiro, in the final year of a 2 year deal paying him $11 million this season, had indicated in Spring Training that he was looking forward to his impending free agency and the chance to test the market. Ichiro told reporters on Monday that the Mariners strong play in the first half of the season played a big part in his decision.

The Mariners had virtually no choice but to go the extra mile to keep their star centerfielder, for a variety of reasons. At 33 years old, Ichiro is still a great player (currently hitting .359 with 61 runs and 23 steals) and is the face of the franchise, not to mention the fact that the Asian population of Seattle is so great that management would have risked alienating a large portion of their fan base if they had let Ichiro get away.

It will be very interesting to see how Ichiro’s signing affects the other future free agent centerfielders, like Tori Hunter and Andruw Jones. It should only increase the demand and drive their price tags even higher, which means that teams with payroll restrictions like the Twins and Braves will have little to no chance to re-sign their star outfielders.

Mlb

Seattle’s Hargrove Retiring

ESPN.com is reporting that Seattle Mariner’s skipper, Mike Hargrove will retire following today’s game. The move comes in the midst of Seattle’s best season in years with the team performing better than anyone expected. I don’t recall a manager stepping away from a team that was performing as well as the M’s are right now and I suspect there’s a bit more to the story than the reasoning Hargrove gave:

"Over the past several weeks, I have come to the realizationthat to be fair to myself and the team, I cannot continue to do
this job if my passion has begun to fade"

Either way, it will certainly be a story to keep your eye on and will be interesting to see how the team responds.

Mlb

Rumor: Blue Jays Shopping Pitchers

Towers Ahh you’ve got to love a good trade rumor don’t you? Over the weekend the Toronto Sun reported that Blue Jays’ GM, J.P. Ricciardi, reportedly called around to several clubs last week letting them know pitchers Josh Towers and Tomo Ohka aren’t exactly untouchable. In fact, the Jays might be willing to foot the bill for the pitchers to pitch elsewhere. And, since there is pretty much always a demand for pitching (even mediocre pitching), several teams including the Mariners, Cardinals, Pirates and most of the rest of the NL were rumored to be interested.

Ohka However, today, the Toronto Star is quoting Ricciardi as saying "We’ll listen on anyone, but it’s just that time of year when names start popping up." Yeah, I’ll bet they do when you’re the one throwing them out there. My guess is both are still very much on the trading block and the Jays’ GM is simply trying to get maximum value in return for his two less than stellar pitchers. I mean you never want to sound desperate to unload a guy even if you really are right?

Just for grins, here are Towers and Ohka’s numbers so far this year:

Towers – 1-3 with a 5.63 ERA and 26Ks in 32 innings pitched over 8 games.
Ohka – 2-4 with a 5.52 ERA and 16Ks in 45.2 innings pitched also over 8 games.

Trade Report: Mariners Acquire Davis From Indians

The Seattle Mariners have acquired Jason Davis from the Cleveland Indians for the proverbial player to be named later. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, M’s manager Mike Hargrove is pleased with the pick up.

"I saw him pitch in the big leagues and at Buffalo when I was there in2004," Hargrove said. "He’s a big, tall guy who throws hard. And you
can’t get too many power arms in your bullpen. He’s got a fastball, a split and a little slider. He can get it up there at 97-98 (mph). And he can pitch
comfortably at 92-95."

The article also mentions that there is currently no plan to use Davis as a starter, however, Davis certainly gives the Mariners a bit more insurance for their starting rotation.

Rumor: Mariners To Sign Batista

Well, I have to give credit, where credit is due. MLBTradeRumors.com scooped me on this one. Apparently the Seattle Times is reporting that the Mariners will sign veteran pitcher Miguel Batista to a three year deal worth about $24 million.

Last week it was rumored that Batista had narrowed his choices down to either the Kansas City Royals or St. Louis Cardinals, however the Mariners’ offer appealed more to Batista. The deal is contingent on the pitcher passing a physical which should not be a problem, however, we’ve already seen deals fall through further into the process this winter so I’ll try to update you when everything is finalized.