Welcome to 2014. Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays.
Some of you may know this already, but for planning purposes …. Mariners pitchers and catchers report to Peoria on Feb. 12 with their first workout on Feb. 13. Position players report on Feb. 17 with the first full squad workout on the 18th. The games start on Feb. 27 with the charity game against the Padres and then Cactus League opens on Feb. 28, also against the Padres.
The Mariners announced today that they’ve signed signed catcher Humberto Quintero to minor league contract with an invite to major league spring training.
Quintero played in 22 games with the Mariners, batting .224 (15-for-67) with two homers. He started the season with the Phillies, was designated for assignment and then signed with Seattle on JULY 26.
The Mariners need a back-up catcher. Quintero could be that guy. He will compete with Jesus Sucre for that spot. Don’t be surprised if the Mariners add another catcher on a minor league deal as well. They need to add some depth. If Sucre doesn’t win the job, he’ll likely start the season at Triple A Tacoma. Prospect John Hicks, who battled injury issues last year and struggled at times, will likely begin the season at Double A Jackson.
Ken Rosenthal had this tweet today.
Realistically, to sign Tanaka it would take ownership approval regardless of the situation. The contract numbers being thrown about for him (5-years, $100 million, 6-years, $120 million) by different sources are automatically going to take ownership approval – in just about every organization. Cruz’s reported asking price ($16 million per year) would also require the same.
We don’t know what is the exact Mariners’ payroll budget is for this year. CEO Howard Lincoln said the budget definitely wouldn’t go down and likely would go up this season. Last year, the organization budgeted a $95 million. A Tanaka signing could push them over that limit, so obviously Lincoln and ownership would have to be consulted.
I think we all agree that Tanaka would be a good signing for the Mariners.
Even if the Mariners are competitive in the bidding process for Tanaka, it seems likely that the offers will be all largely the same, and then it comes down to where he wants to play. Will the organization’s past experience with Japanese players or his relationship with former teammate Hisashi Iwakuma make a difference? No one is quite sure.
It seems likely that Tanaka’s situation is slowing down the remainder of the hot stove season. Many teams are waiting to see what happens with him before moving on to pitchers like Matt Garza, Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez. It even affects the position player signings and potential trades as well.
The Mariners caravan begins Tuesday in Lake Tapps and Gig Harbor. Charlie Furbush and Danny Farquhar are supposed to be there for it. However, Furbush is stuck in the Northeast because of the ridiculous weather.
Root Sports is running Mariners’ Mondays. And tonight they will be showing a Mariners all access with new manager Lloyd McClendon at 7 p.m. and then Felix Hernandez’s milestone wins at 7:30 p.m.
The Mariners are hosting a job fair. So if you are interested in working for the organization, particularly on the game day event staff, you can get the info HERE.