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

Topic: spring training

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February 24, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Mariners, Raul Ibanez run up score early for second straight win

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For the second day in a row, the Mariners blew the San Diego Padres up early and cruised to a relatively easy 8-3 victory. Raul Ibanez did the damage today with a three-run homer off former Seattle and Yankees teammate Freddy Garcia in a five-run first inning that decided things from the get-go.

Michael Saunders and Michael Morse added doubles in the inning as the Mariners took a 5-0 lead. Then, after the Padres scored a run in the fourth, the Mariners ran up the score with three more runs in the fifth. Seattle finished the day with seven doubles among 16 hits.

Mariners congratulate each other on field moments after defeating San Diego Padres 8-3 in Cactus League play on Sunday.

Erasmo Ramirez turned in a scoreless first inning, allowing just one hit, while James Paxton retired three in a row in the second inning after giving up a leadoff single.

For Ibanez, the home run was similar to what Jason Bay did early on in Saturday’s game with a two-run shot. The two veterans were brought to town for their leadership ability, but also because the Mariners feel they can still play. Ibanez has always hit right-handed pitching well and wasted little time against Garcia, who he teamed with in New York last year.

“I was just looking for a pitch that I could hit hard somewhere,” said Ibanez, who finished 2-for-3 with the homer, a single, three RBI and a run scored . “I thought he might throw something else. With him, he throws so many different pitches — he’s got a great forkball, split thing and I though he might throw it there, and he did.”


Comments | More in Cactus League | Topics: Erasmo Ramirez, eric wedge, Raul Ibanez

February 23, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Felix Hernandez throws second bullpen session of Mariners camp

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Here’s a much more up-close look at Felix Hernandez’s bullpen session this morning than we were able to show you the first time around when he was indoors. Today, he threw in the outdoor pen, with Mariners minor league catcher John Hicks forming the other end of the battery. Hicks gets a firsthand lesson on just how much movement there is to Hernandez’s offerings, as you’ll see early on in the video.

Mariners ace Felix Hernandez threw his latest bullpen this morning with minor league catching prospect John Hicks in Peoria, AZ.


Comments | More in Felix Hernandez | Topics: Blake Beavan, bullpen session, spring training

February 20, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Mariners ace Felix Hernandez throws first bullpen session this spring

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Felix Hernandez walked out to the field after the rain halted on a cool, wet day here, took some warm-up tosses with bullpen catcher Jason Phillips, then headed to an indoor bullpen for a 33-pitch session that lasted about 10 minutes.

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Hernandez threw mostly fastballs with some changeups mixed in. The session drew quite a crowd of onlookers, between coaches, front office types, media and Hernandez’s Seattle teammates. They were all either inside the bullpen area or pressed along an outer fence watching.

Mariners ace Felix Hernandez throws a 33-pitch indoor bullpen session under the watchful eye of pitching coach Carl Willis.

“I was waiting for it for a long time,” Hernandez said of his first throwing session since inking a 7-year, $175-million deal last week. “Now that I feel good, I’m going to just keep going out there like normal and go with my routine and prepare for the games.”


Comments | More in Felix Hernandez | Topics: bullpen session, contract extension, eric wedge

February 20, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Mariners are looking at group of four non-premium minor leaguers as return in Mike Carp deal

The Mariners will pick from a list of four lower-level, non-premium minor leaguers as the player-to-be-named in the Mike Carp trade. Photo Credit: AP

Many of you have written in asking who the Mariners are likely to get in the Mike Carp deal. I can tell you that the Mariners are looking to pick from a list of four non-premium minor leaguers, all in the lower levels. In other words, no “A” level or even “B” level prospects. Also, nobody from Class AAA or AA.

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Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told me he was negotiating with four clubs at one point, then it got down to two at the end. Zduriencik didn’t name the clubs, but we know one was the Boston Red Sox and I’ll assume the Twins were another since they were linked to Carp in various reports.

Anyhow, that’s what you get in deals like this one.


Comments | More in trades | Topics: Jack Zduriencik, Mike Carp, shawn kelley

February 17, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Bombs away! Michael Morse puts on a batting practice show for the Mariners

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Watched Michael Morse in batting practice this morning and let me tell you, I have not seen a guy put a bat to a ball like that for this team since Russell Branyan came to camp four years ago. Jesus Montero used to hit some bombs last spring, but not as consistently as Morse was drilling them today. We’re talking line drives 20 feet over the center field fence.

Michael Morse takes a break between batting practice rounds this morning in Peoria, AZ.

His swing was pure power. Sure, Franklin Gutierrez hit some tape-measure BP shots a year ago. But the difference is, Morse has shown he can consistently do this in a game.


Comments | More in Video | Topics: batting practice, michael morse, peoria

February 13, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Mariners spring training is officially underway

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We’ve spent part of the morning watching the Mariners go through pitchers’ fielding practice and throw some bullpen sessions. Yes, that means spring training is officially underway.

Don’t forget, we’ll have the Felix Hernandez press conference at 2 p.m. PT today from Safeco Field. The Hernandez extension is obviously viewed as a coup by the Mariners organization and is good news for teammates who’ve come to rely on him over the years.

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“To us, he is the best pitcher in baseball,” Mariners starter Blake Beavan said. “He’s the kind of guy you can go to for advice, he’s easy to talk to. He’s always been good to younger guys. That’s all you hear from guys on other teams who have gotten to know him, too. Having him on our team is whatwe’ve been built around. So, I think it’s good for Seattle to keep a guy like that for a long time to build around a franchise. He is the face of our team.”

Mariners pitchers take fielding practice this morning in Peoria, AZ.

It’s interesting to hear a guy like Beavan, who is 24, talk about Hernandez, 26, as if he’s so much older and wiser.

“I think I look at him as an older guy because I’m still inexperienced,” Beavan said. “Especially compared to him. He came up when he was19, he’s 26 now and about to be 27. He’s got six years in and he is a veteran whether he’s 24, or 25 or 26. I think everybody looks up to him as a veteran regardless of age.”


Comments | More in spring training | Topics: Blake Beavan, felix hernandez, Mike Zunino

February 12, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Mike Carp designated for assignment by Mariners, who give his roster spot to new starting pitcher Joe Saunders

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Well, the other shoe dropped in the  Joe Saunders signing moments ago and Mike Carp was the victim, getting DFA by the Mariners. Carp was just about to leave his Los Angeles area home and drive to Arizona for spring training in the next day or two. Now, he’s staying put a little while longer, since the Mariners have 10 days to trade, release or outright him to Class AAA.

In case you’re wondering, no, he would not make it through waivers if the Mariners chose to outright him.

“You look at all the winter moves they made and try to figure out how it pertains to you,” Carp told me moments ago. “But in the end, all you can do is take care of yourself, do what you need to do to succeed and be ready when your time comes. I’m ready to start spring training. Obviously, it won’t be with the Mariners any more but I’m ready for whichever team wants me.”

Mariners outfielder Mike Carp was designated for assignment by the team today, effectively ending his Seattle career. Photo Credit: AP


Comments | More in Transactions | Topics: DFA, joe saunders, Mike Carp

February 12, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Felix Hernandez deal is done; press conference in Seattle tomorrow at 2 p.m. PT

Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik announces the contract extension for Felix Hernandez in Peoria, Ariz. moments ago.

A relieved-looking Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik just walked into the media room here in Peoria and announced that, as expected, the contract extension for Felix Hernandez is now complete.

A press conference has been scheduled for 2 p.m. PT tomorrow at Safeco Field.

“We’re headed out right now and Felix will be headed out shortly as well,” Zduriencik said. “We’ll give you all the details at that time.”

It is being reported by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that Hernandez’s old deal will, in fact, be torn up and replaced with a brand new seven-year, $175 million extension.

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There will likely be a signing bonus attached to that, meaning Hernandez will very likely be earning far more than the $20.7 million he was initially slotted to make this year in base salary and a pro-rated bonus. That will impact the budget short-term and could be a reason the Mariners did not make any significant payroll additions the past few weeks.

Payroll was at $85 million as of today, with the potential to go to about $91 million if players reach easily-attainable incentives. We’ll see how Hernandez’s new deal breaks down.

Zduriencik sent out congratulations to Hernandez’s agents, Scott Pucino and Wil Polidor, calling them “very professional” in how they handled negotiations.

“I think it’s a great thing for the Seattle Mariners, it’s a great thing for Felix Hernandez and we’re looking forward to this guy being here for a long time, obviously,” Zduriencik said.


Comments | More in Felix Hernandez | Topics: contract extension, elbow, Jack Zduriencik

February 11, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Michael Bourn signs with Cleveland for $48 million; Mariners pretty much set as they await announcement of Felix Hernandez extension

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ADDITIONAL NOTE 8:30 p.m. PT: The Mariners have just informed us Felix Hernandez will not be available to the media tomorrow. My guess is, his deal won’t be done until later in the day at the earliest, after his physical is taken.

Scratch Michael Bourn off the list of potential long-term pieces for the Mariners. Bourn has agreed to a four-year, $48-million deal with the Cleveland Indians and becomes their center fielder. There is also a $12 million option for a fifth year if Bourn reaches 550 plate appearances in Year No. 4 of the deal.

That means the Mariners are likely done with big-ticket additions for now on the eve of camp opening tomorrow.

As of right now, they’ve got a payroll of right around $85 million. With incentive bonuses factored in, that could climb as high as $91 million or so, assuming no one gets traded at mid-season.


Comments | More in Free agents | Topics: extension, felix hernandez, Michael Bourn

February 11, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Felix Hernandez deal will likely get done soon

It’s a rainy day in Peoria, Ariz. as the Mariners wait for Felix Hernandez to arrive a day ahead of scheduled physicals for pitchers and catchers.

Sitting here at the Peoria Sports Complex awaiting the arrival later today of Felix Hernandez, who is still in negotiations with the Mariners over a long-term contract extension that will keep him here through 2019.

My feeling, from everybody I’ve spoken to the past 24 hours, is that something could be announced in another day or two.

The issues with Hernandez’s elbow and any potential long-term reprecussions from it can be dealt with by implementing new language in the contract. But as of right now, there is no short-term, immediate issue with the elbow. In other words, Hernandez is still the team’s No. 1 starter and is expected to be that on Opening Day. He’ll arrive here today to put stuff in his locker, then take a physical tomorrow along with other pitchers and catchers. It won’t have to be a complete physical like everybody else is doing because parts of it were already covered by stuff he had done in Seattle as part of this contract extension process.


Comments | More in Felix Hernandez | Topics: contract, elbow, Jack Zduriencik