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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

February 14, 2009 at 9:53 AM

Two walking Slim-Fast ads

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A shot this morning of Carlos Silva, this year’s spring training weight loss story, fielding grounders along with Felix Hernandez, the weight loss story of 2007. Silva is the guy on the left. Like I said, he’s no supermodel. Neither of them is. But Silva has pared down considerably from 2008.
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In case you had forgotten what Silva used to look like, check out the photo to the left (Photo Credit/AP) of him pitching for the Mariners last season. Now, for the bad news. Tyler Johnson, the situational lefty signed by the Mariners last week, is already having shoulder problems. Remember, Johnson, who pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals prior to being released this off-season, missed all of 2008 with a shoulder bursitis problem that required surgery. The good news is, the team does not have a fortune invested in him, since he’s on a minor league deal.
We keep waiting for word that No. 1 draft pick Josh Fields is on his way to camp for a physical. Fields and the M’s have apparently reached an agreement in principle, but the deal has yet to be finalized. Once that is done, he could come to major league camp, though that’s up to the team.
By the way, I spoke to Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln this morning and asked him about the team’s approach towards free agents this year and specifically, about its decision on the Jarrod Washburn front and whether — in hindsight — there are moves the team might have made differently had it known the economic environment that was coming. I’ve been very harsh on Chuck Armstrong for nixing the Washburn-to-Minnesota deal back in August. And he deserves criticism because he took too big a risk in gambling that Washburn could attract better value in the winter trade market.
In all fairness, though, the stock market plummet and global economic meltdown did not occur until October. That money crash did change the baseball marketplace in a dramatic way and made Armstrong’s decision look even worse. Do the M’s regret it now? I’d say they do. I’ll play you the audio of what Lincoln told me shortly.

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