Seattle Mariners – MLB Trade Rumors 2018-03-24T12:10:47Z Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 3/23/18]]> 2018-03-23T18:48:15Z 2018-03-23T18:48:15Z The latest moves from around the baseball world…

  • The Mariners announced that infielder Gordon Beckham has been released from his minor league contract.  Beckham had an opt-out clause in his contract for tomorrow, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times tweets, and since the veteran wasn’t going to make the M’s roster, the release gives him some extra time to catch on with a new team.  Beckham re-signed with the Mariners on a minor league deal this winter after spending 2017 in the organization, hitting .262/.313/.393 in 355 PA for Triple-A Tacoma and also appearing in 11 games at the Major League level.
Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Dipoto: Pagan Move Was "Probably The Most Painful Trade We've Made"]]> 2018-03-23T16:34:00Z 2018-03-23T16:34:00Z
  • The Mariners thought so highly of Emilio Pagan as both a player and a person that GM Jerry Dipoto described the swap that sent Pagan and minor leaguer Alexander Campos to the Athletics for Ryon Healy as “probably the most painful trade we’ve made,” Dipoto tells Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.  “In a group that’s not unused to changing bodies, a lot of guys were crushed we traded Emilio.  He’s an unbelievable guy, a tremendous human being, he does all the right things,” Dipoto said.  Pagan made his MLB debut in 2017 and immediately became a key cog in Seattle’s bullpen, posting a 3.22 ERA over 50 1/3 innings and recording 56 strikeouts against just eight walks.  Pagan has continued to hone his game this spring, telling Slusser that he has increased usage of his changeup and also been throwing more inside fastballs to hitters.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mariners Looking For Pitching]]> 2018-03-23T14:03:55Z 2018-03-23T13:41:02Z
  • While none of these teams were specifically cited as being interested in McHugh, Heyman listed the Reds, Brewers, Mariners, and Rangers as teams that are looking for pitching.  All four of the clubs have dealt with some injury setbacks in Spring Training, so further additions could be more akin to fill-in options rather than major acquisitions.  Texas, however, does seem to be at least considering making a higher-priced add, given how the Rangers showed some recent interest in Cobb and Greg Holland.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Jerry Dipoto Discusses Loss Of David Phelps]]> 2018-03-22T04:52:03Z 2018-03-22T04:51:35Z
  • General manager Jerry Dipoto admitted to Greg Johns of and other reporters Wednesday that David Phelpsseason-ending injury is a serious blow to the Mariners’ bullpen. “There’s no way to sugarcoat it. He’s a big piece of what we’re doing here, and it’s a big loss for us,” said Dipoto, who suggested the Mariners could pick up outside help for their bullpen, which also lost Tony Zych earlier this spring and is currently without the injured Nick Rumbelow. “You know you’ll run into an occasional injury and lose players along the way, but to have three in that time span is tough to deal with,” Dipoto said. “Fortunately were at the time of year when players are a little more accessible.” The Mariners have three open spots on their 40-man roster, Johns points out, giving them room to add relievers.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[David Phelps To Undergo Tommy John Surgery]]> 2018-03-22T03:50:38Z 2018-03-22T02:47:47Z Mariners right-handed reliever David Phelps suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm and will miss the season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. He’ll need to undergo Tommy John surgery, Greg Johns of adds (Twitter links).

    Phelps suffered the injury on the final pitch of his outing last Saturday, per Johns. It’s yet another significant arm problem in Phelps’ short Mariners career, as he previously underwent season-ending surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. That procedure came after a lengthy absence because of an elbow impingement. Phelps’ issues limited him to just 8 2/3 innings with Seattle last year after it acquired him from Miami in late July.

    As was the case when they traded him for him in 2017, the Mariners were counting on Phelps to play a major role out of their bullpen this season. And for good reason, too, as the 31-year-old was among the majors’ premier relievers from 2016-17. Phelps made 108 appearances during that span, the third-highest total in the league, and pitched to a 2.69 ERA/3.12 FIP with 11.11 K/9, 3.97 BB/9 and a 46.4 percent groundball rate over 133 2/3 innings.

    This injury comes at an especially inopportune time for Phelps, given that he’s in a contract year. He’ll make $5.5MM this season and could have put himself in line for a sizable multiyear deal in free agency next winter. Instead, he’ll head to the open market off a major surgery, and because of the 12- to 15-month recovery time that follows Tommy John surgery, it’s likely he’ll miss at least some of the 2019 campaign.

    The Mariners, meanwhile, will have to go without arguably their best reliever as they attempt to break a league-worst 16-year playoff drought. Seattle still has other proven options on hand (depth chart), including closer Edwin Diaz, Juan Nicasio and Nick Vincent, yet this is certainly an enormous blow with the season just over a week away.

    With Phelps no longer in the mix, it’s possible general manager Jerry Dipoto will now seek to bolster his bullpen from outside, potentially via trade (his signature route), free agency or the waiver wire (which he utilized earlier Wednesday). There are a few household names remaining on the market, including Greg Holland (he’d come at a high price and would cost the Mariners a draft pick), Chad Qualls, Jason Grilli, Joe Blanton and Huston Street. Unfortunately for the Mariners, though, anyone from that group would have a hard time approaching Phelps’ recent production.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mariners Claim Dario Alvarez From Cubs]]> 2018-03-21T20:46:24Z 2018-03-21T20:29:28Z The Mariners have claimed left-hander Dario Alvarez off waivers from the Cubs, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times tweets. Alvarez will head to minor league camp with his new organization, and he’ll give the Mariners 38 players on their 40-man roster.

    Alvarez, 29, debuted with the Mets back in 2014 but saw little action with them. He ended up throwing just five innings with the Mets over two seasons. Alvarez then moved on to Atlanta and Texas, where he combined for 43 frames from 2016-17. All told, Alvarez has pitched to a 5.06 ERA/5.07 FIP in the majors and logged 11.44 K/9, 4.13 BB/9 and a 38.2 percent groundball rate. Alvarez has struggled against hitters of either handedness during his short big league career, having allowed a .378 wOBA versus righties and a .356 mark to lefties.

    Despite Alvarez’s subpar production at baseball’s highest level, the Cubs signed him to a major league contract early in the winter. But he wasn’t able to stick in Chicago after allowing six earned runs on seven hits and six walks, with 11 strikeouts, over 7 1/3 spring innings. He’ll try to return to the majors with the Mariners, whose projected season-opening bullpen features fellow lefties Marc Rzepczynski and James Pazos.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners To Sign Erik Goeddel]]> 2018-03-20T14:39:59Z 2018-03-20T13:00:29Z The Mariners have agreed to a contract with right-hander Erik Goeddel, MLBTR has learned. Terms of the agreement are not known at this time.

    Goeddel was cut loose by the Rangers just yesterday after spending the bulk of camp with the Texas organization. He struck out six and walked two batters in his 5 2/3 Cactus League frames, but also allowed four earned runs on seven hits.

    Clearly, that brief showing isn’t enough to draw any firm conclusions, but the Rangers obviously decided to go with other options after watching Goeddel’s work. For the M’s, it seems likely Goeddel will take up a spot on the depth chart — unless he can make a surprising late-spring run at an active roster spot.

    The 29-year-old hurler has seen a fair bit of action with the Mets over the past several seasons and has shown some promise. In 104 2/3 total MLB frames, he owns a 3.96 ERA with 9.4 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9. As that strikeout rate suggests, Goeddel gets his share of whiffs. Last year, indeed, Goeddel ran up a career-high 15.2% swinging-strike rate. But he also allowed home runs on over twenty percent of the balls put in the air against him at both the MLB and Triple-A levels.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Latest On Hisashi Iwakuma's Recovery Timeline]]> 2018-03-19T03:44:04Z 2018-03-19T03:44:04Z
  • Mariners manager Scott Servais is hopeful that Hisashi Iwakuma can throw a bullpen session before the end of Spring Training, Servais told’s Greg Johns (Twitter link) and other reporters.  Iwakuma is roughly expected to return by late May or early June, as the veteran righty continues his recovery from undergoing shoulder surgery last September.  Iwakuma re-signed with Seattle on a minor league deal, giving the M’s a potential extra bit of rotation depth once he is fully healthy.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Erasmo Ramirez's Return May Be Pushed Back]]> 2018-03-18T17:28:24Z 2018-03-18T16:07:25Z
  • Mariners righty Erasmo Ramirez has been down with a lat strain for nearly a month, and he might not be ready to return by April 11, when the team will first need a No. 5 starter, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. If Ramirez isn’t back by then – manager Scott Servais noted that an April 11 return “would be very aggressive” – the Mariners are likely to go with left-hander Ariel Miranda or righty Robert Whalen, Divish writes.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Blue Jays Claim Sam Moll]]> 2018-03-17T19:51:10Z 2018-03-17T19:48:56Z The Blue Jays have claimed lefty reliever Sam Moll off waivers from the Mariners; both teams’ PR accounts have announced the move.

    It’s been a busy year for the 26-year-old Moll, who began last season with the Rockies, end it with the Athletics, and has since been the object of a waiver hot-potato game between Pirates, Mariners and now the Blue Jays. Seattle GM Jerry DiPoto had spoken back in September of plans to convert Moll back to a starter even though he hasn’t pitched in that capacity since his professional debut in 2013. Instead, he’ll join his fourth team of the winter and hope he can earn a shot in Toronto, presumably in the bullpen.

    The Athletics gave Moll his first taste of MLB action last season in the form of a September call-up. He make 11 appearances with the club, although he recorded one or no outs in six of them. Moll ended the season having allowed eight earned runs in 6 2/3 innings, though he did manage to strike out seven hitters. There’s some upside for Moll. He throws a fastball in the mid-nineties, which he mixes with a slider.

    After being selected in the third round of the 2013 draft by the Rockies, Moll rose steadily through the minor league ranks. He managed to exceed a 50% ground ball rate in two consecutive seasons with Colorado’s Triple-A affiliate before the Athletics acquired him in August of 2017 for cash considerations.


    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners To Sign Josh Smith]]> 2018-03-15T21:49:58Z 2018-03-15T21:49:58Z The Mariners have reached a minor-league deal with righty Josh Smith, per Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times (via Twitter). Details aren’t fully clear, but Divish notes that Smith is ultimately expected to land at the team’s top affiliate.

    Smith, 30, has thrown 127 1/3 total MLB innings of 5.30 ERA ball over the past three seasons with the Reds and Athletics. He was outrighted by the Oakland organization following a 2017 campaign in which he worked to a 4.89 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 over 35 frames.

    Though he hasn’t yet found success at the game’s highest level, Smith has been a solid performer in the minors. He threw 41 1/3 frames at Triple-A last season, his first as a full-time reliever, finishing with a 3.70 ERA with 9.6 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners Outright Mike Morin]]> 2018-03-14T21:42:41Z 2018-03-14T21:42:41Z The Mariners have outrighted right-hander Mike Morin, according to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times (via Twitter). Evidently, he has already cleared waivers and been removed from the 40-man roster, leaving the organization with two openings.

    It does not seem that Seattle has imminent plans to fill those cleared roster spots, Perhaps the club felt this was an opportune time to put Morin through waivers. Regardless, the M’s will now have some additional flexibility to pursue MLB upgrades or interesting projects as teams make roster moves late in camp.

    Morin, 26, has a lifetime 4.61 ERA in 170 MLB innings. He has managed a solid combination of 8.5 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9, with a strong 12.9% swinging-strike rate, during his time in the big leagues. The results just weren’t there last year, however, leaving Morin to spend much of the year at Triple-A. Morin also showed reduced fastball velocity when he was in the big leagues in 2017.

    The M’s still felt Morin was worth a chance, claiming him from the Royals in December. Clearly, though, the team hasn’t seen enough to think he’ll earn an active roster spot. Morin has been knocked around this spring, coughing up seven earned runs on nine hits over 4 1/3 frames.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners Injury Notes: Cruz, Romine, Felix]]> 2018-03-14T14:43:48Z 2018-03-14T14:08:20Z
  • Nelson Cruz is the latest Mariners player to be hobbled by injury in Spring Training, as he exited yesterday’s game with a strained quadriceps, writes Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. He’ll also likely receive an MRI for further evaluation. Cruz laced a liner into the gap but pulled up on his sprint and eased his way into first base on what should have been a double, as Divish explains. Beyond Cruz, presumptive utilityman Andrew Romine suffered an injury to his left shoulder when lunging to apply a tag at third base in the ninth inning. Manager Scott Servais indicated that the shoulder “might have popped out or something,” and Romine, too, will be sent for further evaluation.
  • In more positive Mariners news, Divish also writes that Felix Hernandez threw more than 20 pitches in a bullpen session yesterday — his first mound work since being hit on the elbow/forearm by a line drive back on Feb. 26 — and reported no issues. Hernandez was originally slated to throw only fastballs but talked his way into throwing a few curveballs and changeups. He’ll likely have another bullpen session before making his return to a game setting with the M’s this weekend. King Felix is hoping to start on Opening Day with the Mariners, though his current trajectory might not make that possible. Even if he’s not the Opening Day starter, though, it seems likely that Hernandez would likely be ready to go at some point in the team’s first turn through the rotation.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners Reportedly Offered Jon Jay Three-Year Deal]]> 2018-03-13T20:04:12Z 2018-03-13T13:33:54Z
  • It’s always worth remembering that free agency is a game that features plenty of variability and would never (theoretically) be played the same way twice. Buster Olney of reports on what might have been for some players. Logan Morrison and Greg Holland both asked for more than was being offered and ended up being bypassed when teams checked down to other targets. The Mariners, says Olney, dangled three years to veteran outfielder Jon Jay before they struck a trade for Dee Gordon. (That rather surprising offer could have had quite a domino effect on the outfield and second base markets had it been accepted.) On the other hand, Olney cites Angels sources that reject the notion the club offered Mike Moustakas a $45MM contract, as had been reported. Of course, had any of those situations developed differently, it’s possible we’d just be talking about different players whose markets collapsed.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Robinson Cano Leaves Game With Minor Hamstring Tightness]]> 2018-03-12T01:08:52Z 2018-03-12T01:07:48Z
  • Minor left hamstring tightness forced Robinson Cano out during the second inning of today’s Mariners/Reds game, and the second baseman will receive an MRI tomorrow.  Cano told reporters (including the Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish) that he doesn’t believe the injury is serious, comparing it a hamstring issue from last season that kept him out of action for just a couple of games.  The Mariners are certainly hopeful they can avoid another spring injury — Ryon Healy (hand) and Ben Gamel (oblique) could miss Opening Day, while the likes of Felix Hernandez, Mitch Haniger, Erasmo Ramirez and Dan Vogelbach have all also missed time with less-lengthy injuries.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mariners Made Three-Year Offer To Jon Jay]]> 2018-03-13T08:49:34Z 2018-03-12T00:09:13Z The Mariners were linked to Jon Jay back in November, and ESPN’s Buster Olney (subscription required) reports that Seattle had enough interest to offer Jay a three-year contract.  The two sides didn’t reach an agreement, however, and Jay’s free agent sojourn only ended last week when he signed a one-year, $3MM deal with the Royals.  It’s easy to second-guess Jay’s decision in hindsight, though of course he (like many other free agents) could hardly have expected the market freeze that left several players settling for contracts that fell well below their initial asking prices.  The M’s ended up going in a more unorthodox direction to solve their center field problem, instead acquiring second baseman Dee Gordon from the Marlins and converting him into an outfield role.

    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Mariners Place Tony Zych On Release Waivers]]> 2018-03-10T21:20:49Z 2018-03-10T21:00:08Z The Mariners have placed Tony Zych on waivers for unconditional release, Greg Johns of tweets. It was recently reported that the right-hander was undergoing tests for shoulder discomfort.

    A 2011 early-round pick by the Cubs, Zych was famously traded to the Mariners for exactly $1. He always showed tremendous strikeout upside during his Mariners tenure. Across 32 innings during the 2015-2016 seasons, he owned an impressive 12.66 K/9. However, that fell to a much more average 7.75 K/9 last season in 40 2/3 innings.

    That Zych has only managed 72 2/3 innings since being promoted in September of 2015 might speak more clearly to the reason for his release. The righty has struggled with shoulder and arm injuries throughout his career, and as such he’s had quite a bit of trouble staying on the field.

    If Zych can regain his health, however, it’s not hard to see an MLB team bringing him into the fold. His strikeout upside and ground ball rate (just under 50% for his career) are both reasons to believe that the 27-year-old could contribute at the back end of a major league bullpen again.

    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[AL West Notes: Holland, Bush, Ohtani, Zych]]> 2018-03-10T15:34:11Z 2018-03-10T15:27:13Z The Rangers don’t appear to have anyone firmly in place as the their closer, though the recently-signed Tim Lincecum is one candidate to win the job. There’s at least a possibility that they could fill the position externally, as Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports in his latest “Inside Baseball” column that the team has considered bringing Greg Holland into the fold. We haven’t heard much other chatter about interest in Holland recently. The outgoing Rockies closer is MLBTR’s third-best free agent remaining, and the odds of him surpassing the offer he reportedly received from the Rockies earlier this winter (something in the three-year, $51MM range) aren’t good. This is particularly true considering the fate of the two Scott Boras clients to sign contracts most recently; Mike Moustakas recently received just a one-year deal at a $6.5MM guarantee from the Royals, while Carlos Gonzalez is said to be finalizing a one-year, $8MM contract with the Rockies.

    Other recent items out of the AL West…

    • Speaking of the Rangers’ bullpen, the team hasn’t yet decided whether to utilize former closer Matt Bush as a starter or reliever this season, according to Evan Grant of SportsDay. By his own admission, Bush had trouble finding consistency in his most recent spring training outing, walking two and allowing a homer on 43 pitches. In 52 1/3 innings with the Rangers last season, Bush pitched to a 3.78 ERA and a 4.57 xFIP. He saved ten games during his brief stint as the club’s closer, but he blew another five save opportunities that came his way.
    • Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports provides feedback from some scouts on the bat of Shohei Ohtani, the Angels’ most high-profile offseason acquisition. These eight MLB scouts (seven of whom have seen Ohtani this spring) aren’t high on the Japanese phenom’s chances to produce offensively at the major league level. According to Passan, these scouts believe that “[p]itchers are going to punish him with inside fastballs, his swing contains flaws in balance and mechanics, and he needs at least 500 plate appearances of seasoning in the minor leagues to give him a chance at becoming a productive major league hitter.” One in particular noted that Ohtani did not hit from a balanced base, adding that he needed to “cheat” on inside fastballs, which would theoretically leave him susceptible to other pitches. Of course, it should be noted that Ohtani’s never attempted to hit major league pitching before this spring; one would think he deserves a reasonable adjustment period before jumping to any conclusions about his hitting ability.
    • On the flip side of the coin, Joel Sherman of the New York Post details some concerns about Ohtani’s pitching. Sherman notes that he lacked high-end velocity in his most recent spring training start, mostly throwing between 91-94 MPH with some command issues. Though he generated 17 swings and misses (an extremely impressive number in just a few innings), he also uncorked a triad of wild pitches. Sherman wonders whether this can simply be chalked up to growing pains, or if it’s part of a more serious issue. The obvious caveat to this is that minute spring training sample sizes aren’t entirely indicative of cause for panic.
    • Mariners reliever Tony Zych is undergoing medical tests for what’s being described as shoulder discomfort, according to Greg Johns of Though Seattle’s setup man improved his ERA to an impressive 2.66 in 40 2/3 innings last season, he experienced a steep dropoff in his strikeout rate, down to 7.75 batters per nine innings from a 12.66 career mark prior to 2017. He didn’t make any appearances past August 19th due to arm issues.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mariners Outright Shawn Armstrong]]> 2018-03-09T00:25:18Z 2018-03-08T22:15:11Z
  • The Mariners announced that righty Shawn Armstrong has been outrighted to Triple-A after clearing waivers. Armstrong, 27, is out of options and obviously was not seen as likely to win a pen job out of camp. Still, he could be a useful depth piece for the M’s. In 43 1/3 MLB frames over three seasons, Armstrong owns a 3.53 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 as well as an 11.3% swinging-strike rate. Armstrong has posted interesting numbers at Triple-A, where he carries a 2.44 ERA with 13.0 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 in 133 total innings.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mariners Designate Shawn Armstrong For Assignment]]> 2018-03-07T23:00:07Z 2018-03-07T23:00:07Z The Mariners have designated right-handed reliever Shawn Armstrong for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Ichiro Suzuki, whose return to the organization is now official (Twitter link via’s Greg Johns).

    Seattle acquired Armstrong, 27, in a minor December swap that sent $500K of international bonus allotments to the Indians. Armstrong spent his entire career in the Indians organization prior to that trade, debuting with the big league club in 2015 and going on to pitch 43 1/3 innings out of the Major League bullpen from 2015-17. In that time, he worked to a solid 3.53 ERA with 7.9 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 1.45 HR/9 and a 41.9 percent ground-ball rate.

    Armstrong, however, was out of minor league options and was not a lock to make a bullpen that figures to be anchored by closer Edwin Diaz and righties Juan Nicasio, David Phelps and Nick Vincent in addition to lefties James Pazos and Marc Rzepczynski. That left just two spots for Armstrong, Mike Morin, Dan Altavilla, Tony Zych, Chasen Bradford and Nick Rumbelow — each of whom is on the 40-man roster and has minor league options remaining.

    The Mariners will have a week to trade Armstrong or place him on outright waivers with the hopes of keeping him in the organization. He’s had a solid spring to date, allowing a run on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mariners Sign Ichiro Suzuki]]> 2018-03-07T20:47:40Z 2018-03-07T18:55:50Z WEDNESDAY: Seattle has formally announced the signing.

    Ichiro receives a $750K salary with incentives that could boost the deal’s total value to $2MM, per’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter). Ichiro can take home $200K apiece upon reaching 150, 200, 250, 300, and 350 plate appearances, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweets. He’ll get $250K if he strides to the plate for a 400th time on the season.

    TUESDAY: Ichiro has a jersey and a locker,’s Greg Johns tweets, which seems a good indication that the deal will soon be finalized.

    MONDAY, 4:28pm: Ichiro tells Yahoo’s Jordan Schultz that he is taking his physical for the Mariners this afternoon and will sign a one-year deal once he passes (Twitter link).

    1:06pm: The Mariners are closing in on a one-year, Major League deal that’ll bring franchise icon Ichiro Suzuki back to Seattle, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick adds that the deal could be finalized either today or tomorrow. Ichiro is a client of agent John Boggs.

    The likely agreement with Ichiro comes just hours after the Mariners learned that they’ll be without projected everyday left fielder Ben Gamel for up to six weeks due to an oblique strain. With right fielder Mitch Haniger also nursing some tendinitis in his hand and reserve outfielder Guillermo Heredia easing back into game action following October shoulder surgery, the Mariners have an obvious need for some outfield depth.

    Ichiro, of course, started his Hall of Fame career in North American ball with the 2001 Mariners in a superlative season that won him a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger, AL Rookie of the Year and AL MVP honors. Ichiro led the league in total hits (242), batting average (.350) and stolen bases (56) that season, posting an overall batting line of .350/.381/.457 and being named to the first of 10 consecutive All-Star teams.

    That, obviously, was 17 years ago however, and the now-44-year-old Ichiro is more of a role player than an everyday option in the outfield. In 215 plate appearances with the Marlins last season, he batted just .255/.318/.332 with three homers and one steal. That said, those 215 PAs were a career-low, and he’s just one season removed from a solid offensive campaign in a more regular role. In 2016, Ichiro tallied 365 plate appearances and hit .291/.354/.376 with a homer, 15 doubles five triples and 10 steals. He should be able to hold down the fort in left as Gamel recovers from his oblique injury, and he can slide into a bench role from that point forth.

    It’s been a long winter for Ichiro, who has been known to have been holding out for an opportunity to continue his career in Major League Baseball despite interest from multiple clubs in Japan. It now appears that he’ll not only have the opportunity to do so but that he’ll be allowed to continue in a city where he ranks among the most legendary figures in franchise lore. Ichiro will undoubtedly receive a hero’s welcome when the Mariners host the Indians in their season opener on March 29, and his return to Seattle presents no shortage of marketing, merchandise and promotional opportunities for the Mariners organization.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Ben Gamel Out Four To Six Weeks With Oblique Strain]]> 2018-03-05T16:41:44Z 2018-03-05T16:41:44Z Mariners outfielder Ben Gamel has been diagnosed with a strained right oblique muscle and is expected to be sidelined anywhere from four to six weeks, the team told reporters on Monday (Twitter link via’s Greg Johns). That almost certainly means he’ll open the season on the disabled list, and if the recovery takes closer to the six-week end of the spectrum, he could miss the first two to three weeks of the season.

    Gamel, 25, is in line for regular at-bats with the 2018 Mariners after posting a solid .275/.322/.413 slash with 11 homers, 27 doubles and five triples through 550 plate appearances last year in his first full big league season. Gamel turned in an exceptional first half in 2017, slashing .323/.379/.449 before cratering with a .227/.262/.376 slash following the All-Star break. He joins first baseman Ryon Healy on the list of notable Mariners injuries in Spring Training, though Healy, unlike Gamel, could potentially be ready for Opening Day.

    Seattle is thin on outfield depth on the 40-man roster at the moment — particularly with Guillermo Heredia still on the mend from October shoulder surgery. Heredia recently made his spring debut and has had a couple of at-bats, but he’s more of a depth piece and fourth outfielder than an everyday option (though he could handle left field on a short-term basis with Gamel out). However, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times points out (on Twitter), Mariners right fielder Mitch Haniger is dealing with tendinitis in his hand and hasn’t taken batting practice in nearly a week. The Mariners have veteran Kirk Nieuwenhuis in camp on a minor league deal, but it seems fair to suggest that they could stand to bring in some additional outfield help.

    The Mariners were linked to Jon Jay earlier in the offseason, and he remains unsigned, as does former Rockies star Carlos Gonzalez. (Additional unsigned options can be seen in MLBTR’s Free Agent Tracker.) Adding a bat like CarGo would be a rather extreme reaction to a short-term absence for Gamel and a seemingly more minor injury for Haniger, but Jay makes some sense for the Seattle roster even with a healthy Gamel and Haniger on the roster. Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto, of course, is never one to shy away from making plays on the waiver wire, and there should be a fair number of names becoming available via that avenue in the coming weeks.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dipoto On Gordon's Switch To Center Field]]> 2018-02-28T06:25:19Z 2018-02-28T06:25:19Z Jim Bowden of The Athletic chatted with Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto about the decision to trade for Dee Gordon and place him in center field despite a lack of experience at the position (subscription required). Unsurprisingly, Dipoto revealed that the outside-the-box trade was rather data-driven in nature. “We had a need in CF and believed his profile fit perfectly if he was willing to commit to the transition,” said Dipoto. “We then took a look at some of the available data (Statcast) and our analysts created a projection of what his acceleration and wide open speed might look like in center field based on comparable speed athletes in the database. The results were encouraging enough that we decided to go for it.” Dipoto raved about the manner in which Gordon has embraced the move, praising his commitment to learning the craft and “tireless” work ethic. Gordon has already impressed Seattle with his range in center, though Dipoto notes that he still has work to do when it comes to scooping ground-balls in the outfield and coming up in a crow hop after years of infield work.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Felix Hernandez Exits Game After Being Hit By Line Drive]]> 2018-02-26T23:26:51Z 2018-02-26T21:27:18Z 5:25pm: X-rays came back negative, the club announced (h/t Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, via Twitter), so it seems the worst-case scenario has been avoided.

    3:27pm: Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez took a comebacker off his right arm during today’s Cactus League contest against the Cubs and exited the game without throwing another pitch. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times has a video of the play in his initial column on the injury. Hernandez immediately drops his glove, does not try to pick up the ball, and leaves the field with head trainer Rob Nodine holding his right arm. Divish further tweets that the Mariners are sending Hernandez back to their facility in Peoria for evaluation. For now, they’re only saying that he was struck on the “upper forearm.”

    The Mariners struggled through a dismal 2017 season in terms of rotation health, relying largely on a revolving door of depth pieces and journeymen to get through the year while Hernandez, James Paxton, Yovani Gallardo and a host of others dealt with injury issues. Seattle picked up Mike Leake, Erasmo Ramirez and Marco Gonzales last summer with an eye toward bolstering the 2018 rotation, but the M’s haven’t added an established starter to their ranks all offseason with the exception of re-signing Hisashi Iwakuma. However, Iwakuma is still recovering from shoulder surgery and isn’t expected to be an immediate factor in the rotation. (Christian Bergman and Casey Lawrence re-signed with the Mariners on minor league deals this offseason.)

    [Related: Seattle Mariners depth chart]

    The free-agent market, of course, still has several notable names in the form of Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn. A significant absence for King Felix could, speculatively, push the Mariners to add further depth — even if it’s not one of those top three names. Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson and Ricky Nolasco are among the other unsigned rotation options at this point, while the trade/waiver market continues to feature myriad possibilities.

    Hernandez, 32 in April, was limited to 86 2/3 innings last season due to shoulder and biceps injuries. He pitched to a 4.36 ERA (second-highest of his career) with 8.1 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 1.77 HR/9 and a 46.9 percent ground-ball rate in that time.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Dan Vogelbach Avoids Serious Injury]]> 2018-02-25T22:59:27Z 2018-02-25T22:59:27Z
  • The right foot injury Mariners first baseman Dan Vogelbach suffered Friday isn’t serious, Greg Johns of relays (Twitter link). An MRI revealed “a bad bruise” that will shelve Vogelbach for three to four days, which will temporarily leave Mike Ford as the only healthy first baseman on the M’s 40-man roster.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Dan Vogelbach Suffers Right Foot Injury]]> 2018-02-25T02:19:33Z 2018-02-25T02:19:33Z Mariners first baseman Dan Vogelbach was hit by a pitch in the right foot on Friday and is now in a walking boot, Greg Johns of reports. Vogelbach is currently awaiting results of an MRI he underwent Saturday. A serious injury to Vogelbach would be another notable preseason blow at first for the Mariners, whose starter, Ryon Healy, underwent hand surgery earlier this month. Consequently, Vogelbach and Rule 5 pick Mike Ford had been the only healthy first basemen on the Mariners’ 40-man roster. Healy, meanwhile, is close to having the stitches removed from his hand and could start defensive work within the next week or so, but it’s not known he’ll be able to begin swinging a bat, Johns writes.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[West Notes: Rockies, Giants, Lewis]]> 2018-02-20T16:01:47Z 2018-02-20T16:01:47Z After making several bullpen moves and addressing their catching situation, the Rockies have had a quiet run-up to camp. It has long been wondered, though, whether the organization might yet add another player, particularly given the ongoing lack of clarity at first base. Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports on the state of affairs as camp opens. Ian Desmond says he has been left with the impression he’s “mostly” going to be utilized in left field, seemingly leaving youngster Ryan McMahon with the inside track to commanding regular time at first. But the market still includes quite a few other possibilities, so it certainly seems premature to count the club out from another move. Saunders notes that the Rox have not had recent discussions with Mark Reynolds, it’s worth noting. Perhaps it is also still possible to imagine the addition of an outfielder, with Desmond then being asked to slide back to first, though it’s all still guesswork at this point.

    Here are some more links from the western divisions:

    • With so much trade chatter surrounding the Giants over the winter, several players now in camp with the organization saw their names circulated in rumors over the winter. Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle discusses the winter of uncertainty with second baseman Joe Panik and a few other players. As for Panik, a phone call from GM Bobby Evans in the midst of the Giancarlo Stanton saga helped put his mind to ease, though he also notes that he and his wife would have been devastated to leave San Francisco and the Giants organization.
    • Mariners prospect Kyle Lewis recently underwent an unexpected second knee surgery, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. The hope is that the 22-year-old, who was taken 11th in the 2016 draft, will be ready to begin preparing for the season in earnest before the end of April. GM Jerry Dipoto emphasized that this particular surgery is only a clean-up, expressed some hope that it’ll be “the final step to getting him healthy,” and credited Lewis for his hard work. Of course, it’s also the latest in a long line of problems with the joint, as Divish documents in a post that’s essential reading for fans of the Seattle organization.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Erasmo Ramirez Shut Down With Minor Lat Strain]]> 2018-02-18T20:49:45Z 2018-02-18T20:49:45Z
  • Injuries tore through the Mariners’ rotation last season, and their starting depth is already being put to the test early this year. Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times was among those to report (Twitter links). It’s only a precautionary measure by the Mariners, according to Divish, though it obviously makes for a less-than-ideal start to the year for their staff. The Mariners haven’t done anything to upgrade their rotation since last season concluded, but GM Jerry Dipoto has insisted he’s content with the group. If healthy, Ramirez will slot in fourth in the quintet in front of either Marco Gonzales or Ariel Miranda and behind James Paxton, Felix Hernandez and Mike Leake. Ramirez made 19 starts with the Mariners and Rays last year and pitched to a 4.74 ERA/4.71 FIP across that 100 2/3-inning span.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 2/15/18]]> 2018-02-16T03:23:14Z 2018-02-16T03:23:14Z Here are the latest minor moves from around the game:

    • The Mets announced today that they have signed Matt den Dekker to a minor-league deal. He’ll be reunited with the organization that originally drafted him in the fifth round in 2010 and gave him his first MLB promotion in 2013. Though he has touched the majors in each of the past five seasons, opportunities have been fleeting for the 30-year-old. He spent most of 2017 at Triple-A with the Tigers and Marlins organizations, slashing a combined .250/.322/.441 in 288 plate appearances.
    • Lefty Tyler Matzek has signed a minors deal with the Mariners, per an announcement from the California Winter League. It includes an invitation to MLB Spring Training. Once a top prospect, Matzek had been unable to overcome anxiety problems and a related collapse in his control. Though he worked to a 4.05 ERA in 117 2/3 MLB frames in 2014, Matzek issued more walks than strikeouts at all levels over the following two seasons. He was released by the White Sox after participating in camp with the organization last spring.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mariners’ Ryon Healy Out Four To Six Weeks Following Hand Surgery]]> 2018-02-15T16:45:43Z 2018-02-15T16:45:43Z The Mariners announced today that first baseman Ryon Healy underwent surgery to remove a bone spur from his right hand and will be sidelined for four to six weeks. Depending on which end of that timeline Healy’s recovery ultimately falls, the procedure could put his Opening Day status in jeopardy. Healy underwent the procedure yesterday and is beginning rehab immediately, per the announcement.

    It’s a fairly short-term injury for the Mariners that isn’t likely to spur the team to make any kind of addition to its roster, as Dan Vogelbach and Rule 5 pick Mike Ford (selected out of the Yankees organization) remain on hand as first base options on the 40-man roster. Both hitters performed quite well in the upper minors least season and could reasonably be expected to bridge the gap at first base until Healy’s hand allows him to return to the lineup.

    Seattle sent right-hander Emilio Pagan and minor league infielder Alexander Campos to the division-rival Athletics exactly three months ago in a trade to acquire Healy, who had been largely displaced by the booming emergence of Matt Olson and Matt Chapman, as well as Oakland’s desire to shift Khris Davis from left field to designated hitter.

    Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto said after the trade that the organization views Healy, who batted .282/.313/.475 with 38 homers through his first 888 MLB plate appearances with the A’s, as a potential long-term option at first base. He’s slated to serve as Seattle’s primary first baseman in 2018, and today’s announcement doesn’t figure to change that. In the short term, though, the injury to Healy could improve Ford’s chances of making the Major League roster.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Ryon Healy Bothered By Hand Injury]]> 2018-02-15T06:00:05Z 2018-02-15T06:00:05Z
  • Newly-acquired Mariners first baseman Ryon Healy has been bothered by an offseason hand injury and received further tests today, manager Scott Servais told the Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish and other media.  The seriousness of the injury isn’t yet known, though rather the problem’s rather uncertain nature is certainly a concern to an M’s team that was positioning Healy as its first baseman of the future.  Dan Vogelbach and Mike Ford are internal options at the position, plus several free agent options are available if Healy was sidelined for a significant amount of time.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mariners Sign Junior Lake To Minor League Deal]]> 2018-02-15T05:19:45Z 2018-02-15T05:19:38Z
  • The Mariners have agreed to sign outfielder Junior Lake to a minor league deal, the Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish reports.  Manager Scott Servais said that Lake’s deal contains an invitation to their big league Spring Training camp, and the contract will be official once Lake passes a physical.  Lake, who turns 28 next month, hit .235/.278/.376 over 703 plate appearances with the Cubs, Orioles, and Blue Jays from 2013-16, and he played for the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate and in the Mexican League last season.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[David Phelps Hires Jet Sports Management]]> 2018-02-07T14:04:16Z 2018-02-07T14:04:16Z Mariners righty David Phelps has hired Jet Sports Management to represent him, according to Jerry Crasnick of (via Twitter).

    Phelps was one of several MLB players that was left searching for a new agency after parting ways with Jason Wood and Career Sports Entertainment. Wood was fired by CSE and suspended by the MLBPA following allegations of misconduct against his own clients.

    The 31-year-old Phelps has already avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $5.55MM deal with the M’s. But he’ll soon be in need of further negotiating assistance, as he’s slated to reach the open market at season’s end.

    Phelps’s future earnings outlook is rather unclear at present. Notably, Phelps made only ten appearances in Seattle following a mid-season swap. His 2017 season ended with elbow surgery, perhaps removing any possibility that Phelps might return to the rotation, though the hope is that Phelps will be ready for a full 2018 campaign.

    So long as Phelps can return to health, there’s good reason to think he’ll be one of the most sought-after set-up men on the market next winter. Since the start of the 2016 season, after all, he has thrown 142 1/3 innings of 2.72 ERA ball with 11.1 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Phelps has a background as a starter, making him a potential multi-inning weapon.

    As always, you can keep tabs on the latest agency movement with MLBTR’s Agency Database.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mariners Notes: Cruz, Farm System]]> 2018-02-01T19:16:45Z 2018-02-01T19:16:45Z
  • Looking to add a bit of versatility to his repertoire, Mariners designated hitter/outfielder Nelson Cruz revealed that he’s been working out at first base this offseason (Instagram link). Seattle already acquired Ryon Healy from the A’s in hopes that the young slugger can hold down their first base spot for years to come, but Cruz could conceivably see some time there when Healy needs a day off or in the event of an injury.
  • Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times takes a lengthy, comprehensive look at the Mariners’ bottom-ranked farm system (by Baseball America and ESPN’s Keith Law). Divish’s column has extensive quotes from GM Jerry Dipoto, director of player development Andy McKay and a pair of scouts from other clubs, each weighing in on Seattle’s lack of depth. Dipoto, as he has in the past, indicates that his front office has elected to use the bulk of its prospect depth to acquire MLB assets such as Healy, Mitch Haniger, Ben Gamel, Dee Gordon and Jean Segura. The rival scouts are critical of the system, with one calling it “barren.” However, they didn’t condemn the actions of the Dipoto-led front office as unwise. “It wasn’t a very good system when he got here so you use what you can to build for the big league and then down,” a scout from an AL club tells Divish. “I see their vision. They’ve traded a lot of midrange prospects, but you can’t replenish them as quickly as they’ve traded them off and that affects depth.”
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Quick Hits: Freeman, LeVangie, NPB/KBO, Aces]]> 2018-01-29T04:01:31Z 2018-01-29T04:01:31Z Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman feels great about the strength of his left wrist; strength he believes he lacked at the end of last season. Mark Bowman of wrote a detailed article that includes plenty of confident words from Freeman, who told reporters he began hitting earlier than he usually does, and even took batting practice in 25-degree whether just to see if he experienced any pain. “I have had zero problems.” Freeman said. “Everything feels great and everything feels strong.” Though he doesn’t regret coming back early after being hit by a pitch in May, Freeman experienced some frustration when his wrist fatigued during August and September. Notably, the two-time All-Star also had Lasik surgery to help alleviate some eye irritation issues he experienced while wearing contact lenses. Freeman also expressed his excitement to see top prospect Ronald Acuna arrive at the MLB level.

    Some other interesting items from around MLB as we near the end of January…

    • Count Rick Porcello among those in the Red Sox organization who are excited about working with new pitching coach Dana LeVangie. A piece by Tim Britton of the Providence Journal gives some insight into a phone call between the two earlier in the offseason. “A couple of days after he got the pitching coach job, he called me and we talked for an hour on things he had mapped out for me coming into the season that I need to work on and get better with,” Porcello told reporters last week. Indeed, it seems as though relievers Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel have already had a great experience working with him during his time as the team’s bullpen coach.  As for LeVangie, he says his time as the Red Sox’ bullpen catcher allowed him to get a feel for movement and spin rate of pitches, as well as identify specifics of a pitcher’s strengths and weaknesses.
    • The pursuit of financial security causes a handful of players to give up MLB 40-man roster spots every year in order to pursue opportunities in the NPB and the KBO, writes Kyle Glaser of Baseball America. Glaser tells the short version of Seth Frankoff’s story, though he’s just one of more than 100 ex-major or minor leaguers who played in Asian baseball leagues in 2017. While minor-league players on a 40-man roster earn just over $40K per year, players can make nearly 20 times that amount playing overseas. Other benefits of playing in the NPB and KBO include luxury apartments for foreign players, exceedingly high energy levels from people in the crowd, and a potential path back to the majors if they can improve their skill sets.
    • Zach Crizer of lists right-handers Danny Salazar (Indians) and Jake Odorizzi (Rays), and left-hander Ariel Miranda (Mariners) as pitchers with the potential to reach “ace” status in 2018. Crizer uses some incredibly specific stats to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of these three pitchers, showing a potential path to a breakout for each one. The piece includes videos and heat maps as well; it’s an intriguing read, particularly considering that Salazar and Odorizzi have been mentioned in trade rumors.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Jerry Dipoto Discusses Seattle's Rotation]]> 2018-01-28T20:41:53Z 2018-01-28T20:41:53Z Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto told Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times and other reporters this week that the club’s largely content with the work it has done this winter to improve its roster. While the Mariners haven’t addressed their rotation in any noteworthy way, Dipoto’s confident their starters are at least on par with most AL rotations, “with the exception of last year’s playoff teams — the Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros.” Whether Felix Hernandez will be able to amass 25-plus starts, as opposed to the 16 he made last year, will go a long way toward deciding how Seattle will fare in 2018, Dipoto believes.

    With a couple months left until the start of the season, the Mariners could still complement Hernandez & Co. with more starting help – payroll’s “not an issue,” according to CEO John Stanton. However, if we’re to take Dipoto’s word, it doesn’t seem likely. “We are doing the best we can to develop our system, not to clog it,” Dipoto said. “Could we go out and sign a free agent that would be better than our current fifth starter? Absolutely. Would that be the best thing for the present of the Mariners? Maybe. Would it be the best thing through the wider lens for the present and future of the Mariners? Probably not. We’ll be able to address those needs as we go. Because the one thing we’ve not had to deal with here is a lack of resources.”

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dipoto On Iwakuma, Phelps, Heredia, Gonzales]]> 2018-01-25T19:54:03Z 2018-01-25T19:53:12Z
  • Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma has been cleared to begin throwing as he rehabs from 2017 shoulder surgery, according to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times (all Twitter links). Divish was among the reporters on hand when Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto spoke to the media about a wide variety of topics, including health updates on a number of Mariners. In addition to Iwakuma setting out on a throwing program, righty David Phelps and outfielder Guillermo Heredia are expected to be at or very close to 100 percent when Spring Training opens. Dipoto also said that lefty Marco Gonzales, who is out of minor league options, “will be given every opportunity to make our club.” Dipoto has taken some heat from fans for trading prospect Tyler O’Neill to acquire Gonzales from the Cardinals, though O’Neill’s .254/.304/.548 slash and 27 percent strikeout rate in Triple-A following the trade raise questions of their own.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mariners Claim Chasen Bradford]]> 2018-01-19T20:06:35Z 2018-01-19T20:06:35Z The Mariners announced that they’ve claimed right-handed reliever Chasen Bradford off waivers from the Mets, who had designated him for assignment yesterday. Seattle’s 40-man roster is now full.

    The 28-year-old Bradford reached the Majors for the first time this past season and racked up a fair amount of time in the Mets’ bullpen. Bradford appeared in 28 games with New York and tallied 33 2/3 innings of work. In that time, the former 35th-round pick posted a solid 3.74 ERA with 7.2 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 0.8 HR/9 and a hefty 55.9 percent ground-ball rate.

    Bradford averaged just 90.6 mph on his fastball in that rookie season, but he has a history of limiting walks (1.6 BB/9 in parts of four Triple-A seasons) and has routinely turned in ground-ball rates north of 50 percent in the minor leagues. He also has multiple minor league options remaining, so the Mariners will be able to shuttle him back and forth between Seattle and Tacoma throughout the year, if needed.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Reunion Unlikely For Mariners, Ichiro]]> 2018-01-19T15:19:15Z 2018-01-19T15:19:15Z Ichiro Suzuki’s agent, John Boggs, tells Barry Bloom of that he’s still holding out hope that the 44-year-old will land an offer from a big league club this offseason rather than return to Japan. Boggs had talks with both the Mariners and Padres, but neither of those now looks likely to come to fruition. He also notes that he’d spoken to the Mets before they signed Jay Bruce, as well as the Reds when they were more heavily exploring the market for Billy Hamilton. Boggs tells Bloom that there are still a half-dozen teams that continue to tell him to check back later in the winter once it’s clearer how the market will play out, but it remains unclear whether Ichiro will have a legitimate opportunity to return for an 18th Major League season.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mariners Announce Non-Roster Invitees]]> 2018-01-17T02:00:45Z 2018-01-17T02:00:45Z
  • The Mariners announced 22 players that have received non-roster invitations to Major League Spring Training. Many of the minor league deals in that announcement have already been reported, though it’s of note that Seattle will bring veteran catcher Tuffy Gosewisch back to the organization. Right-handers Ryan Garton (who was outrighted off the 40-man roster in October) and Ryan Cook (who missed 2017 due to Tommy John surgery) will both be in big league camp as well. The 34-year-old Gosewisch went just 2-for-28 with the Mariners last season, though one of those two hits was a homer. He’s a career .190/.228/.271 hitter in 447 MLB plate appearances, though he’s also slashed a drastically superior .258/.318/.406 in his Triple-A career. Garton, 28, has a 4.55 ERA with 7.2 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and a 44 percent ground-ball rate in 61 1/3 innings between the Rays and Mariners over the past two seasons. Cook, of course, was briefly the closer in Oakland and looked like one of the game’s more promising young relievers in 2012-13. He’s pitched just 8 2/3 innings in the Majors dating back to Opening Day 2015 due to injuries, however.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Arbitration Updates: 1/13/18]]> 2018-01-13T22:22:30Z 2018-01-13T22:22:30Z Here are the arbitration numbers we’ve learned thus far today — all of them coming via the Twitter feed of Jon Heyman of Fan Rag unless otherwise noted:

    • The Giants’ previously known deals with two righty relievers now have dollar values attached. Sam Dyson is slated to earn $4.425MM, while the team will pay righty Cory Gearrin $1.675MM. MLBTR’s Matt Swartz projected a $4.6MM award for Dyson and a $1.6MM salary for Gearrin.
    • Diamondbacks infielder Chris Owings settled out at $3.4MM, just a shade over the $3.3MM the team will pay outfielder David Peralta. Swartz had both Owings and Peralta at $3.8MM.
    • Right-hander Nick Vincent will take down a $2.75MM payday from the Mariners, coming in just north of his $2.7MM projection.
    • Astros righty Lance McCullers Jr. is set to receive $2.45MM (a bit shy of his projected $2.6MM) in his first season of arb eligibility, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets.
    • Infielder Hernan Perez receives $1.975MM from the Brewers, falling short of a $2.2MM projection.
    • The Athletics agreed yesterday with righty Liam Hendriks at $1.9MM, matching his projection, and catcher Josh Phegley for $905K. Swartz had Phegley at $1.1MM.
    • White Sox third baseman Yolmer Sanchez has filed at $2.35MM while the team countered at $2.1MM – the same as his projection.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Jerry Dipoto On How He Makes Deal]]> 2018-01-13T19:31:42Z 2018-01-13T06:19:47Z Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto discussed some of his methods of trade mayhem on the latest run of his podcast. (Find the audio and some choice quotes compiled by’s Greg Johns.) The team’s acquisition of Dee Gordon came together via texts that Dipoto sent from an airplane, says the executive. He also copped to extensive GIF and emoji usage in his negotiations, when appropriate.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Unresolved 2018 Arbitration Cases]]> 2018-01-13T03:05:53Z 2018-01-13T00:02:01Z We’ve covered a whole lot of arbitration deals today, many of them reached before today’s deadline to exchange filing figures. Some other agreements have come together after team and player submitted their numbers. It’s still possible, of course, that these situations will be resolved before an arbitration hearing becomes necessary. (At this point, we seem to lack full clarity on teams’ approaches to negotiations after the filing deadline. And most organizations make exceptions for multi-year deals even if they have a file-and-trial stance.)

    Some situations could even be dealt with in short order. As things stand, though, these unresolved arbitration cases could turn into significant hearings. (As always, MLBTR’s 2018 arbitration projections can be found here; you will also want to reference MLBTR’s 2018 arbitration tracker.)

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Players Avoiding Arbitration: American League]]> 2018-01-13T05:52:28Z 2018-01-12T21:00:23Z The deadline for MLB teams to exchange salary arbitration figures with their arbitration-eligible players is today at 1pm ET. As such, there will be a veritable flood of arb agreements piling up in the next few hours — especially in light of a more universal approach to the “file and trial” method for teams. (That is to say, those teams will no longer negotiate one-year deals after arb figures are exchanged and will instead head to a hearing with those players, barring an agreemenr on a multi-year deal.)

    Note that you can keep an eye on all of today’s deals using MLBTR’s 2018 Arbitration Tracker, which can be filtered to show only the results of the team you follow and is also sortable by service time and dollar value of the agreement. All projections that are referenced come from MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz’s annual compilation of projected arbitration salarie

    American League West

    • The Astros and Evan Gattis agreed to a $6.7MM deal for 2018, per FanRag’s Robert Murray (Twitter link). A free agent next season, Gattis lands within $100K of his $6.6MM projection. The club also has deals (for values unknown) with starters Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers Jr., and Brad Peacock, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle tweets.
    • The Rangers agreed to a $1.05MM deal with infielder Jurickson Profar, tweets Murray. Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram, meanwhile, tweets that lefty Jake Diekman landed a $2.7125MM deal and righty Keone Kela will earn $1.2MM. Profar had been projected at $1.1MM and is controllable another three seasons. Diekman, a free agent next winter, was projected at $2.8MM. And Kela, still controlled for three more years, matched his $1.2MM projection on the dot.
    • The Athletics and closer Blake Treinen agreed to a $2.15MM deal for next year, tweets Murray. The A’s can control Treinen for another three years. He was projected at $2.3MM. Shortstop Marcus Semien has settled for $3.125MM, Heyman tweets; his $3.2MM projection was nearly spot-on. Oakland has announced that it has avoided arbitration with Liam Hendriks and Josh Phegley as well, but their salaries have yet to be reported.
    • The Angels have a one-year, $7.3MM agreement in place with right-hander Garrett Richards, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register (Twitter link). Richards, a free agent next offseason, tops his $7MM projection by a margin of $300K. The Halos have also avoided arb with first baseman C.J. Cron ($2.3MM) and left-hander Tyler Skaggs ($1.875MM), tweets USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Cron’s total falls a ways shy of his $2.8MM projection, while Skaggs comes in just $25K south of his $1.9MM projection. Both are controllable through the 2020 season. Lastly, Murray tweets that Matt Shoemaker agreed to a $4.125MM deal. He’s controlled through 2020 and projected at $4.4MM. Fletcher also tweets that the club has agreed with righty J.C. Ramirez ($1.9MM salary vs. $2.6MM projection) and lefty Jose Alvarez ($1.05MM salary vs. $1.1MM projection). Finally, righty Cam Bedrosian has agreed at $1.1MM, Flecher tweets, which represents a payday close to his projection of $1.2MM.
    • Left-hander James Paxton will earn $4.9MM with the Mariners in 2018, tweets Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. Murray tweets that the Mariners and David Phelps agreed to a $5.55MM deal. Paxton, controlled through 2020, projected to earn $5.6MM, while Phelps was pegged at $5.8MM. He’s a free agent next winter. Righty Erasmo Ramirez took a $4.2MM deal,’s Greg Johns reports. That’s half a million shy of what the model suggested. Fellow right-hander Nick Vincent also has an agreement, but the terms aren’t yet known.

    American League Central

    • New lefty Luis Avilan has agreed to a $2.45MM deal with the White Sox, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune reports via Twitter. The recent trade acquisition came with a projected $2.3MM price tag. Fellow southpaw Carlos Rodon will receive $2.3MM, a bit of a bump over the $2MM he projected to receive. Also, utilityman Leury Garcia gets $1.175MM, which is just $25K short of his projected value.
    • The Royals and righty Nate Karns agreed to a $1.375MM deal for 2018, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reports (on Twitter). That lands within $25K of his $1.4MM projection for the coming season. Kansas City controls Karns through 2020. Meanwhile,’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports (via Twitter) that Kelvin Herrera will earn $7.9375MM in 2018, landing a bit shy of his $8.3MM projection. Herrera is a free agent next winter.
    • The Indians have a $5MM agreement with righty Danny Salazar,’s Jordan Bastian tweets. He had projected to earn just $200K more, this falls right in line with expectations. Cleveland also agreed with Lonnie Chisenhall on a $5.5875MM deal, tweets Nightengale. The third baseman-turned-outfielder, who was projected to earn $5.8MM, will be a free agent following the 2018 season.
    • Trevor May has a $650K agreement with the Twins for the 2018 season, according to Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. May, who missed the entire season due to Tommy John surgery (and did some writing for MLBTR during his rehab process), had been projected at $600K. The Twins also agreed to a $1MM deal with infielder Ehire Adrianza, per La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune. Meanwhile, righty Ryan Pressly has agreed to a $1.6MM deal, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. Both deals are identical matches with their projections. Adrianza has three years of team control remaining, while Pressly has two. Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets that outfielder Robbie Grossman settled at $2MM, leaving him $400K shy of his projection. Grossman is controlled for another three seasons.
    • Tigers third baseman/outfielder Nick Castellanos will earn $6.05MM, per Heyman (via Twitter). He had projected at a much heftier $7.6MM in his second-to-last season of arb eligibility.’s Jason Beck reports (Twitter links) that the Tigers and right-handed reliever Alex Wilson settled at $1.925MM, while fellow righty Shane Greene will earn $1.95MM. Wilson was projected to earn $2.1MM, while Greene was at $1.7MM. Wilson is controlled through 2019, while Greene is under control through 2020.

    American League East

    • The Yankees have knocked out some of their biggest arb cases, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (Twitter links). Shortstop Didi Gregorius receives $8.25MM and righty Sonny Gray checks in at $6.5MM. The former had projected to earn $9.0MM while the algorithm was just $100K high on the latter.Backstop Austin Romine will earn $1.1MM, Heyman also tweets, which is also $100K below the projection. Righty Adam Warren and the Yankees have a $3.315MM deal, per Murray (Twitter link). This is Warren’s final season of eligibility before hitting the open market next winter. He’d been projected at $3.1MM. Meanwhile, fellow right-hander Dellin Betances has agreed to a $5.1MM deal, per’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter). That’s just $100K more than Betances had sought last year, when he took his case to a hearing that he ultimately lost. But it’s quite a bit more than the $4.4MM he projected to receive after a subpar season in which he played at a $3MM salary.
    • The Red Sox have agreed to pay $8.5MM to southpaw Drew Pomeranz, per Alex Speier of the Boston Globe (Twitter link). That’s short of the $9.1MM that had been projected after Pomeranz turned in a productive 2017 season. Boston and Jackie Bradley Jr. settled at $6.1MM, tweets Murray. That’s a bit north of the $5.9MM at which he’d been projected for the upcoming season. Bradley Jr., a Super Two player, has another three seasons of club control remaining. Nightengale tweets that righty Joe Kelly ($3.6MM projection) agreed to a $3.825MM deal. He’ll be a free agent next winter. Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez ($2.375MM salary vs. $2.7MM projection) and righty Brandon Workman ($835K salary vs. $900K projection) are two other Sox hurlers that have agreed to terms, Speier reports (Twitter links). On the position player side, catcher Sandy Leon falls a bit under his projection $1.95MM (via Speier, on Twitter) while utilityman Brock Holt just beats expectations at $2.225MM (per’s Jerry Crasnick, on Twitter). The team also agreed with shortstop Xander Bogaerts for $7.05MM, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston tweets, which comes in a bit shy of his $7.6MM projection. Boston also announced agreement with backstop Christian Vazquez, who’ll earn $1.425MM, per’s Ian Browne (via Twitter). That’s just under the projection of $1.5MM.
    • The Blue Jays and righty Aaron Sanchez agreed to a $2.7MM deal for 2018, according to Nightengale (Twitter link). That crushes his $1.9MM projection, which was likely suppressed due Sanchez’s lack of innings (just 36) in 2017. He’s under Jays control through 2020. Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, meanwhile, tweets that second baseman Devon Travis will make $1.45MM next year, falling a bit shy of his $1.7MM forecast. Other Toronto players agreeing to terms include Kevin Pillar ($3.25MM vs. $4.0MM projection) and Dominic Leone ($1.085MM vs. $1.2MM projection),’s Gregor Chisholm tweets.
    • The Rays and closer Alex Colome settled at $5.3M, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (on Twitter). He’d been projected at $5.5MM and is controllable for three more years. They also settled at $5.95MM with outfielder/DH Corey Dickerson ($6.4MM projection) and $4.5MM with infielder Brad Miller ($4.4MM projection), per Murray (all Twitter links). Steven Souza, according to Murray will earn $3.55MM, placing him right in line with his $3.6MM projection. Dickerson and Miller are controlled through 2019. Souza is controlled through 2020.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners Avoid Arbitration With Mike Zunino]]> 2018-01-12T05:20:00Z 2018-01-12T05:12:47Z
  • Mariners catcher Mike Zunino will play for $2.975MM in 2018, Jerry Crasnick of reports on Twitter. He had projected at $3.2MM after an excellent bounceback season. Zunino has two more years of arbitration eligibility.
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