Here’s my token picture of spring training. I am not Ansel Adams, but I’m better than Larry Stone. Hopefully the pics will improve.
That was a group of several players taking batting practice today. Obviously, the catchers are all here since they have physicals on Wednesday. But Michael Saunders, Brad Miller, Logan Morrison, Corey Hart, Willie Bloomquist and Stefen Romero are here early working out daily.
General manager Jack Zduriencik spoke to the media for about 10 minutes. Obviously, he wouldn’t speak directly about Nelson Cruz or Ervin Santana or other free agents. But he did speak in generalities of adding players.
“There’s still some good players out there,” Zduriencik said. “But every club has restrictions. When you are at this point in the year, it isn’t often easy for a club just to say, ‘give me $10 more million dollars or whatever number someone is asking – $15 or $20 million dollars – or something like that. It just doesn’t always work like that.”
So does that mean the Mariners are done? Or could they make something work for the right player.
“There is probably a window to do something,” Zduriencik said. “We’ve had dialogues with so many free agent players since the general manager’s meetings. Because you really never know what avenue you may go down and you don’t know what door is going to open to you and what door is going to shut. We’ve kept a lot of dialogues going. And we are still having conversations. But it does get to a point where years and dollars are going to be factors.”
Zduriencik still wants to add pieces to the team and continue to tweak it. And it might not be just via free agency. The Mariners are still looking at possibly trading for a starting pitcher as well.
“Every general manager would like add to something,” Zduriencik said. “You would always like to do more. But you have to be realistic and understand that there is only so far you can go. We’ll see. Do I think we’ll go any further? Are we going to do other things? We’ll certainly have a lot of conversations.”
Short hops …
Fernando Rodney will be in Peoria on Wednesday to take his physical. Because the blood work and tests for signing physicals can take up to 24 hours to process there is a possibility that the Rodney signing or Randy Wolf and Zach Miner might not be announced until Thursday.
Jesus Montero won’t report to Peoria for a physical with pitchers and catchers as in past years. Why? The Mariners no longer view Montero as a catcher so as a first baseman/designated hitter he will report later.
One player that isn’t listed on the non-roster invitees but did have a locker in the major league clubhouse was Burt Reynolds. No, not the Smokey and the Bandit guy, but the cousin of Robinson Cano, who signed with the Mariners in the offseason. Reynolds has no chance of making the team. But it helps to have a cousin who signed a $240 million contract.
A Mariners contingent featuring Zduriencik, assistant GM Jeff Kingston, team president Kevin Mather and others will fly to the Dominican Republic on Wednesday. The group will be part of a ceremony opening the Mariners’ new training facility in Boca Chica. Also slated to be there is Robinson Cano, the president of the Dominican Republic Danilo Medina and U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, James Brewster.
Zduriencik said a few pitchers may have visa issues and might not be here for Wednesday physicals.
Here’s some more radio with me yapping about the Mariners on KJR