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December 10, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Winter meetings day 2

And that’s a wrap

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10:56 – Here’s a link to Jack Zduriencik’s radio interview on SportsRadioKJR 

9:21 — Radio podcast time!!!

Here’s a link to Jack Zduriencik’s interview with ESPN 710.

 8:21 — Here’s some more stuff from our earlier meeting with Jack.

On the dwindling free agent outfield market? 

“It’s possible. We may have to look at other avenues to acquire that. Going into the outfield scenario via free agency, at least you aren’t giving up a player. But you have certain available dollars and when you are spending them you are spending them and it might prevent you from doing other things. Now that’ he’s signed we’ll just move on and looking at other options.

On Nick Franklin’s immediate future?

“It could possibly give him a shot to be the shortstop. We could let him and Miller fight it out at spring training to see who comes away. These young players have options. They don’t necessarily have to be on your club. Or it may be looking at an alternative position for him. I think he could play second, short or third. There was a point in Nick’s past when he played in the outfield. Whether that’s an option or not yet is too early to say. Right now we’re viewing him as an infielder.”

8:07 — My apologies for the live chat. The wi-fi here in the media work room has been janky all day. Must be all those baseball writers streaming video and not working. Technology can be a cruel.

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So this is somewhat interesting. If you are the Mariners, you are willing to include minimal players and pay the cash. If LA is looking for top level prospects, then this isn’t a good idea. Kemp was a good player, an all-star player. But there is a large debate as to whether he will again after all the injuries.

8 p.m. — Here’ s Jack Zduriencik’s interview with MLB Network from earlier today.

6:45 p.m. — Jack Zduriencik met with the media for about 15 minutes. In that meetings a few things were discussed.

They have had discussions with Franklin Gutierrez about a free agent contract. Zduriencik would offer not other specifics. But it’s likley that it won’t be more than a one-year, heavily incentive laden deal. That’s not a bad risk or investment.

Zduriencik was also quite candid about the future of Jesus Montero. Right now, Montero is on the outside looking in. If he wants to be a part of the future, he’s going to have to earn it.

“I think we all think that Jesus is a very talented hitter,” Zduriencik said. “I think we saw a lot of that the first year he was with us. Last year was very disappointing. The effect of what he was going through not only physically, but also the things that that were happening to him off the field may have had a huge effect on his performance mentally, which affected his performance on the field and then the injuries he had.”

Excuses aside, the Mariners can’t really plan for Montero to be a part of the roster when he’s given them no reason to. And right now, he can play one position DH.

“But I do think as you look to figure out what your club is this year,” Zduriencik said. “You know he’s a talented player, but he does have options, he’s switching positions and I think at this moment in time you can’t necessarily count on him. I’m not saying he won’t come in and be ready to roll and all of the sudden you are looking at the Jesus Montero you thought you acquired, but I think you’d be foolish to say you are counting on this guy to be THIS for you.

He’s been through too much the last year and he has too much to prove to all of us. Does he have the potential to be an impact offensive player? I think he does. You saw that. At 22 years of age, he hit what 15 or 16 home runs with 60 RBIs. We didn’t see that last year. I think we are all very curious to see where Jesus Montero is when he rolls into spring training.  The upside he could be really ready to roll and have all this stuff behind and be the kind of player we thought we were getting when we traded for him. The other side of it is maybe he needs a little more time and he does have options.”

Is it a wake-up call for Montero?

“I hope so,” Zduriencik said. “I don’t think anyone can answer that except for him. I did speak to his agents today about him. I had long conversations with them about him. It’s up to Jesus. This is a golden opportunity for him and it’s laid right in front of him. How he handles, well, it’s in his lap.”

6:28p.m. — sorry for the delay. We met with Lloyd McClendon for 40 minutes and then went and met with Jack Zdurienick.  Here’s the full transcript of McClendon’s presser. Video is still downloading

3:21 p.m. — the menage a trade between the Diamondbacks, White Sox and Angels is done.

  • D’backs get Mark Trumbo and two players to be named later.
  • White Sox get outfielder Adam Eaton.
  • Angels pick up a pair of young arms in Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs.

This trade also helps move the Shin-Soo Choo market. Arizona was one of the teams interested in Choo.

3:15 p.m. — With the help of four years of high school Spanish and the guy next to me and google translate, I can safely say that this tweet from Enrique Rojas basically says that Franklin Gutierrez is looking for a 1-year deal that’s incentive laden. And the Mariners are a team that’s interested as well as two others.

Yes, the Mariners have done the dance with Gutierrez in the past. But a 1-year deal is low risk and the Mariners need right-handed help in the outfield.

2:07 p.m.Rajai Davis has signed a two-year, $10 million deal with Detroit Tigers.  Why is this important? Well the Mariners were interested in adding depth to the outfield spot and Davis would have been a nice piece to add at a minimal cost. So he’s off the board.

1:17 p.m. — So Ken Rosenthal has this tweet …

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Not really sure what to make of this since everything is 50-50. It was rumored yesterday that Cruz turned down a 5-year, $75 million offer from the Mariners. But his market seems to be drying up, and it looks like Texas, Baltimore and Seattle are the major interests. But I would not give him $75 million.

As for Kemp, I haven’t heard much from there. I saw his agent Dave Stewart earlier, but he wasn’t talking to media. There are reports that Kemp might not be ready for spring training because of a slow recovery from offseason ankle surgery. With any deal for Kemp, it will come down to how much money the Dodgers are willing to eat on his massive contract.

1:12 p.m. — Things might be getting interesting in Orlando for teams other than the Mariners. It appears a little Menage A Trade is going down with the Angels, White Sox and Diamondbacks. 

1:02 p.m. — Jon Morosi doing what he does, has this …

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General manager Jack Zduriencik said yesterday the Mariners would look at adding a veteran closer. But only after they got other deals taken care of. The interest is likely genuine. The importance isn’t there.

From Zduriencik …

It comes down to cost. At the end, you are talking about how much money you have left to spend if you are trying to add to a couple other areas if your ball club. If you take available chunk of money and put it  into closer, that would help. That would be great, but that may prevent you from addressing other areas of your ball club.

If you look at this organization since I’ve been here, we’ve had some guys step up and do a nice job, going back to David Aardsma my first year, Brandon League did a nice job for us and Tom Wilhelmsen did a great job for a while and he’ll be given that opportunity this spring. And then you have Farquhar, who did a nice job. We’ve done a pretty good job of filling the back end of the bullpen. I think if we have available dollars to go elsewhere, we would look at adding  a legitimate closer as a lower priority right now. 

11:33 a.m. — No Choo for you. The Rangers appear to be out of the Shin Soo-Choo sweepstakes according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram. . They are now looking at bringing back Nelson Cruz.

11:10 a.m. — Joel Sherman has this tweet about the D’Backs getting active for Shin Soo-Choo or Mark Trumbo. The price for Choo just keeps going up.

sherman tweet

11:04 a.m. — Still no word on the Robinson Cano physical. But I think the Mariners will have an official announcement by Friday at the latest.  Here’s my story in today’s paper on the reaction to the Cano signing. And here’s my story on Jack Zduriencik’s statement about Geoff Baker’s story and the allegations by Eric Wedge.

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Quick recap of the morning

  • 10:50 a.m. — return to the luxurious Swan & Dolphin.
  • 10:17 a.m. — curse myself out for at least two minutes for being a forget moron.
  • 10:16 a.m. — realize lap top cord and cell phone charger are still in hotel room and laptop is dead. (Not even Larry Stone does this)
  • 10:15 a.m. — sit down down to start morning blog post
  • 10 a.m. – Finally find parking.
  • 9:30 a.m. — Arrive at the scenic Swan & Dolphin.

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