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June 29, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Chris Gimenez to DL, Josh Bard called up by the Mariners

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The news here today is all about the catchers. Miguel Olivo is getting an MRI on his sore leg. Chris Gimenez is getting one as well on his strained oblique muscle, but has already been placed on the 15-day DL.
Josh Bard has been called up in his place. Class AAA pitcher Edward Paredes has been designated for assignment to clear space on the 40-man roster.
Anyhow, enough of that.
Lots of commentary about our blog post yesterday insisting the the Mariners have to do something to bring somebody in to help this offense at some point soon — even if it means upping a payroll that’s already set to go beyond its $93.5 million limit.
Ran into team president Chuck Armstrong down on the field and asked him whether the club could bump up payroll to accomodate a mid-season trade.
“I’m not going to talk about payroll,” Armstrong said. “I’m worried about who’s catching for us today.”
Armstrong also suggested I speak to GM Jack Zduriencik about the issue. Fair enough. That’s what I did.
I caught up with Zduriencik pre-game and put the question to him directly. If there is a deal to be had that requires a payroll increase, can he get it done?
“Our payroll is what our payroll is,” Zduriencik said. “There’s a lot of time between now and when the decision has to be made.”
The Mariners open the day in third place, three games back of the division-leading Rangers.

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“If there’s something that makes sense, you have to make decisions as to whether you’re letting this thing unfold or are prepared to move,” Zduriencik said. “If something makes sense, we are open to anything. If something makes sense short-term, long-term, we’ll look at it and take the steps we need to take at that point.”
Zduriencik noted that any trade decision has to be kicked upstairs for further consideration. But in the meantime, he has to try to lay the groundwork assuming that something can get done.
“It’s just not that easy, as you know, where all of a sudden something falls together,” he said. “As a GM, you have to leave your options open.”
So, there you go. No real answers as to whether this team would go the extra mile and spend more to take on salary if a deal fell into Zduriencik’s lap. No word on how high a caliber prospect the team would consider moving in lieu of spending more money.
Just thought I’d ask.
And if the team loses much more ground in the standings these next few weeks, the point will become moot. At that point, the team can unload Erik Bedard, Jack Cust, Jack Wilson and whoever else is over 30 and on a one-year deal and score up all the prospects they want.
And wait until next year.
The lineups:
Mariners (39-41)
51 Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
26 Brendan Ryan SS
4 Adam Kennedy (L) 3B
17 Justin Smoak (S) 1B
13 Dustin Ackley (L) 2B
29 Jack Cust (L) DH
21 Franklin Gutierrez CF
8 Carlos Peguero (L) LF
3 Josh Bard (S) C
34 Felix Hernandez RHP
Braves (46-35)
1 Jordan Schafer (L) CF
22 Jason Heyward (L) RF
16 Brian McCann (L) DH
5 Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
26 Dan Uggla 2B
7 Brooks Conrad (S) 3B
8 David Ross C
13 Nate McLouth (L) LF
2 Alex Gonzalez SS
32 Derek Lowe RHP

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