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Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

July 29, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Jack Zduriencik on the Pittsburgh trade

Here are some extensive comments from Jack Zduriencik’s press gathering to address the big trade — he called it “relatively major” — that brought shortstop Jack Wilson and pitcher Ian Snell to Seattle for Jeff Clement, Ronny Cedeno and three minor league pitchers.

The word out of Pittsburgh is that the Mariners are only on the hook for $400,000 each for Wilson, who is making $7.25 million this year, and Snell, who is making $3 million in the second year of a three-year, $8.6-million contract. He’s owed $4.25 million next year,

with a $6.75-million club option for 2011, and a $9.25-million club option for 2012. If the Mariners wind up exercising those options, that means the trade worked out brilliantly.

If my Cal-Berkeley math is correct, that mean the Pirates are picking up about $2.4 million of the remaining $2.8 million of Wilson’s 2009 contract, and about $700,000 of the remaining $1.17 million on Snell’s 2009 contract.

NOTE: According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates are paying Seattle $3,308,702.19 as part of the Jack Wilson/Ian Snell trade.

According to writer Dejan Kovacevic, “that covers the remainder of this year’s salaries for Wilson and Snell, minus the prorated amount if they were making Major League Baseball’s minimum of $400,000. The Mariners are responsible for all 2010 obligations, including Snell’s $4.25 million salary, and the option buyouts for Wilson and Snell.”

Zduriencik’s Blackberry kept beeping during the interview. At one point, he pulled it out, looked at his messages, and quipped that he had six more trades to announce. Actually, it was his wife.

He called Snell “somewhat of a reclamation project. We’re hoping we can help resurrect his career. He’s done very well in Indianapolis. I think what we’re going to do is probably send him to Triple-A, at least for a little while, let him just get his feet on the ground in this organization, and make a decision in a short period of time on exactly when he will be here with us in Seattle.

In terms of Jack Wilson, I think what we acquire here is a very talented defensive shortstop. A former All-Star player, he set several records for errorless streaks. He’s a feisty, gamer type of guy. I think people will like watching him play. Having been in Milwaukee the last nine years, I watched this guy against us on many occasions. Not only is he the kind of defensive player he is, but what he brings to the table — he’s an intelligent player, he’s got a lot of smarts, he has leadership skills, he’s as feisty as can be.

“We welcome him. He’s a West Coast guy. In my conversation with him this morning, I thought his first reaction would be a little disappointment on leaving the organization that you basically grew up in, although he was originally a Cardinal. I’m sure there’s some disappointment with him, but he was very excited. He was, like, wow. I know you guys are in a pennant race, this is exciting. And then I told him how much we wanted him.

“I think as we move forward, we can look at this deal, and some of the questions we might have at shortstop, we’ve answered them. A kid like Ian that has a nice arm, it’s going to be interesting to see how this thing turns out.

On Jeff Clement: I feel very bad about him not being with us. Pittsburgh pursued him. Sometimes when you’re traded like this, it creates an opportunity. They’re going to look at him at both positions. He’s going to play at first base and he’s going to play behind the plate. The other guys in the deal, I didn’t want to lose Ronny Cedeno, and I really held out on a couple of talks we had with them. They were insistent Ronny had to be int he deal.

“The three minor league pitchers, Adock has a nice arm, Lorin has a nice arm, Pribanic has a nicearm. I wish them the best. They are guys in A ball, and they’re future guys. The centerpiece of the deal is that in a short period of time, we’re going to have two guys on our club that are going to make an impact here.”

Has he talked about an extension with Wilson, whose contract expires after this season? Wilson, 31, is in the final year of a three-year, $20.2 million contract that pays him $7.25 million this season. He has an $8.4 million option for 2010 with a $600,000 buyout.

“Not yet. I’m sure we will. I’ve known his agent, Page Odle, since he was a player in college. Obviously, we’ll see how Jack likes it here. I’d like to think he’ll be here for a lengthy period of time. This certainly answers questions for us as we move forward. We have a guy that’s a good player and he’ll be here for awhile.”.

On how long the Mariners have targeted Wilson: “I talked to them a couple of months ago. Quite frankly, probably in May was the first discussion we had together. It was about a lot of differentt things. His name came up. We still had another shortstop here at this time. Intensely? Probably the last 10 days were pretty intense. We had many conversations back and forth.

On the possible impact of Snell’s acquisition on a potential trade of Jarrod Washburn: ” It’s really not related. It’s has nothing to do with what may or may not happen. That has nothing to do with us getting Ian Snell. We got Ian Snell because he has a very nice arm. If we can get him back on track, he’s a talented pitcher we can add to our major league club. I think it gives you guy with three-plus years of experience — he has more experience than some guys on our staff right now. We’ll see how it works when he gets here.

On Snell’s dropoff in recent years: ” I don’t know if it’s mechanical. I haven’t heard that. I don’t think it’s injury related, because he’s still throwing in the mid-90s. We sent (special assistant to the GM) Kenny Madeja in there to make sure he sat on Ian Snell. Kenny came back with a really good report. Jack, he’s got a live arm. ERA under 1. Kenny was a large part responsible with us moving forward in picking up Ian Snell.

On the status of trade talks involving Washburn: Or anyone else. Discussions. I think because we have about 48 hours, I think it gets intensified now, and if some other dominoes fall people may get more aggressive. But right now, it’s been what it’s been. It’s been discussions, it’s been names. But you can’t prevent that. Im not sitting out there as someone might think that I’m shopping guys. People call me and I have to listen to what they have to say. When I get one or two or three phone calls, it’s a courtesy to call somebody back, to say just to let you know, we are having these discussions. I don’t know if it’s going to go anywhere. I can’t sit here today and say this is going to happen. I wouldn’t do that. I don’t know that.

On the status of the team in the playoff race: “I think obviously because of where were at in he standings, we’re on the outside looking in. That other ball club has been playing really well, as a matter of fact, both ball clubs ahead of us have been playing well. This club has been resilient, They’ve shown you in what was supposed to be the toughest trip of the year, we went in there and came back in with a really nice record. We were on a recent trip which wasn’t going to be easy and came back real well too. So the fact that we got beat this weekend, we won yesterday, that was good. So we’ll try get back on track today.

“No one is throwing up the white flag. We’re trying to get better in anyway we can.”

On Wilson’s 2010 option: “We want to entertain that. I’m sure there will be discussions going on in regards to that. It’s nice to know we have the choice whether he comes back or not. As we move forward with anything else, those are disccusions that will take place at a later date. But you know you have him this year and you know you could have him next year.”

On waiting for the Halladay and Lee situations to get resolved: “I don’t think I’ve ever waited for the dominoes to fall. If there is something for us that makes sense for us to be better, then we have to entertain that. Sometimes it could be the effect of somebody else coming off somebody else’s radar or it could be the fact that we sit there and look at something and say this makes sense and we move on. I’m not saying we’re going to do anything. We’re just going to sit back and let the piececs fall where they may, and at the end of the day make the best call.”

On giving up three young arms: “It’s always tough. It’s kind of interesting in where were headed and what we’re trying to do. You have a 27 year old right handed pitcher with 3 years of MLB experience and a former All-Star shortstop that is arguably one of the best defensive shortstops in the game, for players that are yet to be proven. It you are acquiring a 33 or 34 year old pitcher, it might be a little different.”



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