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So many questions! Were the Mariners ever really in on the Prince Fielder talk? Is there a possibility the fences will be moved in at Safeco? What is the plan with Figgins? Who will be the starting catcher?
Will Ichiro be leading off?
All of these questions and more were addressed during the Media day hosted by the Mariners.
It has been an interesting week for fans with the major prospect swap between the Yankees and the Mariners and the wave of disappointment as Prince Fielder announced a nine year deal with Detroit.
However, interviews with everyone from farm directors and trainers to the upper management gave an air of contagious excitement.
As far as the Prince pursuit is concerned Jack Z confirmed that the Mariners indeed were a part of the conversation and negotiations with the big slugger, but as reiterated that despite whatever offers were on the table the ultimate decision lies with the player and their agent behind closed doors.
Fans were speculating that Prince was turned off by the M’s due to their record and their pitcher friendly field, but Jack Z indicated her really thought that the real factors were “Years and Money.”
What Jack didn’t say was that the reward vs risk was not worth the price tag. But there really is no point in dwelling on what Detroit has and Seattle doesn’t.
It is over.
The good news is that the Seattle Mariners were (and still are) working for the long term success of the club.
The M’s GM along with Eric Wedge gave some pretty good indicators that Ichiro Suzuki will be moving to the number 3 spot in the lineup. Anyone that has seen the pop Ichiro can generate during batting practice would wonder why Ichiro hasn’t been moved before.
If Ichiro can change his approach in his game to accommodate that is the real question.
Wedge tossed around Dustin Ackley, Chone Figgins and Gutierrez has being possible candidates for the lead off spot.
Talk of Figgins lead to many questions about the slumping third basemen. There was an immediate reaction exclaiming Figgins’ physical conditioning that he has pursued during the off season, however he came into last season with a similar good report.
State Of The Mariners – Offseason Player Updates - January 26th Edition
The M’s have said they haven’t given up Figgins who had an amazing career with the Angels, but it could be the 17 Million dollar contract that they can’t move.
Watch for Figgins to be used in a utility role moving around as a backup in the middle infield during spring training.
Health reports were given on Casper Wells, Justin Smoak, Adam Moore and Franklin Gutierrez all of whom struggled with various health issues during the 2011 season.
Wells was diagnosed with a balance disorder but has been working hard. Moore is said to be at 100% following his MCL surgery.
Smoak dropped 14 pounds and Guti has gained the same.
Sounds like a good trade off.
With all the youngsters around there was a sense of realism. Jack Z is expecting a difficult year while the team continues to mature admitting that it takes 5-7 years to see real progress in a pro level baseball team.
He has been here for 3 drafts.
There is a lot more in the depth in the farm that will make a major impact over the next few years.
M’s fans may not see a big bat or the fences moved in but some excitement of this 35th anniversary season is seeing a young hard-working, energetic style of baseball.
Also flashes from the past as the M’s bring in former M’s greats over each weekend of the season.
It should prove to be an interesting year, although the offseason isn’t over yet and Jack Z always has his eyes open.
Which was proven by Jesus Montero revealing his new uniform. (#63 for you number people)
We may see more moves before the M’s hit spring camp.
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© Danny Ferguson for North West Sports Beat, 2012. |
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