Random Mariner news

DMZ · January 9, 2006 at 1:44 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Kevin Appier’s in on a standard minor-league contract. In the MLB.com Mariners Mailbag, there’s a discussion of Snelling’s rehab (short version: return to playing around the All Star Break… we’d hope), among the standard fluff we’ve come to expect from those features (though this one, as far as I could see, did not contain any huge, obvious errors, which is nice).


50 Responses to “Random Mariner news”

  1. msb on January 9th, 2006 1:53 pm

    Miller seems to be trying– although you can’t do much with questions like “How can the Mariners have the heart and soul that is sadly missed when both Edgar Martinez and Bret Boone left? The team can replace these people with bodies, but who is left to lead the team?”

    I do like the headshot of Doyle in the column…

  2. Mr. Egaas on January 9th, 2006 1:53 pm

    Okay, okay.

    So say Appier makes the team out of spring training. Does this mean that ths M’s probably go with the 12 man staff again? That really seemed to limit our options late in games last year, and I had hoped it was a part of the past.

    However, given the circumstances of hoping to pitch Moyer mostly on the road, limiting the innings or starts of Felix, and Washburn not having a track record of high durability, Appier looks like he could be a decent emergency/longman/spot starter in the pen, costing us peanuts. He’s not stellar, but he doesn’t have to be. A guy like this is almost needed for this team.

  3. Evan on January 9th, 2006 1:57 pm

    And Patterson got traded to a team that isn’t the Mariners. That can only be good news.

  4. BrotherLoveBone on January 9th, 2006 2:01 pm

    On the glass-half-empty side, Patterson got traded to a team that isn’t the Red Sox, which may eventually lead to bad news (Reed trade).

  5. IcebreakerX on January 9th, 2006 2:04 pm

    Kevin Appier?!

    The Worst Signing Bill Bavasi Has Ever Made OMGWTHECK!


  6. Tek Jansen on January 9th, 2006 2:11 pm

    #2 — I would be shocked if the Mariners carried less than 12 pitchers. There were a few times last year, maybe just a game or two, that the Mariners had 13 pitchers on their 25 man staff.

  7. msb on January 9th, 2006 2:18 pm

    Appier threw for the Dodgers scouts back in December– at the time Rotoworld cracked — “He’d have to be better than Scott Erickson”

  8. Matthew Carruth on January 9th, 2006 2:23 pm

    You know instead of bringing in flotsam like Appier (read: 2006’s Sele) we could have signed a 6th starter who is, you know, productive, for just a little bit more. I don’t see anyway the Ms rotation of Moyer, Pineiro, Felix, Wash, and Meche make more than 130 starts.

  9. Evan on January 9th, 2006 2:30 pm

    Given how craptastic our bench has been lately, I don’t think carrying an extra pitcher hurts us. So we don’t have Dobbs – big deal.

  10. vj on January 9th, 2006 2:33 pm

    Remember that they still have Harris and that the offseason isn’t over, yet. They might still pick up someone like Campillo last year. When given the choice, let’s sign someone healthy this time, thank you.

  11. Grizz on January 9th, 2006 2:52 pm

    Who’s next? Chuck Finley?

  12. IP on January 9th, 2006 3:05 pm

    Interesting comments in the article about Matt “Lighter Fluid” Thornton, and by interesting I mean depressing. Man, hard-throwing lefties must be like crack to managers. Just say no…

  13. Dash on January 9th, 2006 3:08 pm

    Um, work with me here, how is it a ‘good thing’ that Thornton is out of option?

  14. Jim Thomsen on January 9th, 2006 3:25 pm

    First of all, we don’t know how good or bad Kevin Appier is right now, so do let’s chill. Either he’ll show something and make the team, or he won’t and he’ll get cut. Either way, as previously posited here, the Mariners need a No. 6 starter capable of 12-15 replacement-level starts, and if Appier can provide that, he’ll provide it cheaply. If he can’t, the Mariners will look elsewhere.

    But relax … this isn’t a Jarrod Washburn-type signing. It’s a cheap corralling of free talent.

    From The Tall Arkansan (Glenn Abbott) to The Deaf Frenchman (Appier) … that would be quite a 30-year legacy.

  15. Howard Hansen on January 9th, 2006 3:25 pm

    Dash, it’s a good thing for Matt, not for the M’s.

  16. wabbles on January 9th, 2006 3:26 pm

    Yeah, he’s 2006’s version of Aaron Sele, but hopefully he will turn out better. I went to the spring training game where Sele got lit up and thought there was NO WAY he was coming north with us. ‘sign’ Hopefully Appier will turn out better, he could be just the sixth starter we need.

  17. Jim Thomsen on January 9th, 2006 3:37 pm

    Another cheap roster move I’d like to see the Mariners make is to liberate Jason Ellison from San Francisco, where’s he’s the odd man out (along with, possibly, Todd Linden) with the signing of Steve Finley along with the presumed return of Barry Bonds to full-time outfield play.

    Ellison’s cheap (made the league minimum), a fine defensive outfielder who can play all three positions. He’s also youngish (going to be 28 in April) and has speed. He fell out of favor late last year with the Giants, and, in my opinion, would make a perfect fifth outfielder for Seattle. Oh, and he can hit a little bit (.264/.316./.361).

    With the Mariners having no good defensive players tabbled for left-field duty, I think having Ellison play the last two innings out there as often as not and pinch-run two or three times a week would be a wise and versatile roster option.

    And he and Willie Bloomquist played high school ball together (in fact, he lived with the Bloomquists for two years). Oh, wait … is that a bad thing?

    As teams start to issue spring-training invitations and firm up wekanesses in their 40-man rosters, I’d like to see the Mariners do some quality Dumpster-diving. Jake Woods and Kevin Appier, so far, are a good start.

  18. Jim Thomsen on January 9th, 2006 3:39 pm

    And … anybody want The Dark Prince of The Three True Outcomes?


  19. Evan on January 9th, 2006 3:47 pm

    Yes, dammit. I’d much rather have Branyan than Koskie.

  20. msb on January 9th, 2006 3:58 pm

    #18-19– btw, a visit to read Bat-girl on the subject of Koskie to the Brewers is a must

  21. Mr. Egaas on January 9th, 2006 4:03 pm

    What’s Jason Ellison got on T.J. Bohn? Unless, You want to leave Bohn in Tacoma to get regular playing time, as he still may become something, not to mention, take the Raineers ALL THE WAY IN THE PCL in ’06! WOOOO!!

  22. Bruce on January 9th, 2006 4:03 pm

    Since the M’s have already accepted the “intensity” of Carl Everett, and are rolling the dice with Appier, (not to mention Washburn) is it time to resume the drumbeat for Kevin Brown?

  23. AQ on January 9th, 2006 4:09 pm

    #19 – I think Branyan might just be the Rob Deer of the 21st Century thus far, but he’d be a decent left-handed pinch hitting option in terms of having a power bat to turn to. Something tells me (based on his 6 foot 3 frame) that he could probably only play 3rd/1st/DH. I seem to remember him typically at 3rd..

  24. Mr. Egaas on January 9th, 2006 4:09 pm

    Kevin Brown at 1-2 million would be awesome, I feel. However, a guy late in his career probably wants to play for a contender, or a guaranteed rotation spot, and probably not likely to accept the role he would have with us. But I for one, would love it.

    What are we looking at on our bench right now?

    Rivera, bats right. Catcher.
    Bloomquist, bats right. Utility extraordinare.
    Lawton, bats left. All outfield positions.

    There’s a spot there for either a solid righty or lefty bat, maybe a solid corner infielder, so Bloomquist isn’t manning third or first for an extended period of time if Beltre or Sexson were to go down. Perhaps a guy to pinch hit vs. the back end of major league bullpens late in games (ala Dobber, but better, please.)

    Paging Russell Branyon, slaughters righties, recently designated for assignment, looking for a job. Billy, get on the phone.

  25. Jim Thomsen on January 9th, 2006 4:10 pm

    #21: I don’t see how it benefits T.J. Bohn to get one at-bat a week with the Mariners, when he could more fully develop his craft in Tacoma. As we saw from when Shin-Soo Choo and Chris Snelling wasted away for vast stretches on the M’s bench, Hargrove is not particularly inclined to “let the kids play,” even when the season’s a lost cause.

    #22: I check the web every day for news on Kevin Brown, among others, and as far as I can tell, there hasn’t been a whiff of interest in him from any team.

  26. Mr. Egaas on January 9th, 2006 4:13 pm

    Whoa, I left off the Morsey. How could I forget.

  27. Jim Thomsen on January 9th, 2006 4:14 pm

    #26: One hopes the Mariners make the same mistake you did, Mr. Egaas.

  28. David J. Corcoran on January 9th, 2006 4:14 pm

    No huge obvious errors because apparently Jim Street ain’t around anymore. It looks to have switched to Doug Miller at the year.

  29. Mr. Egaas on January 9th, 2006 4:23 pm

    Morse or no Morse, there’s still room for Branyon.

  30. Simon on January 9th, 2006 4:39 pm

    In other news, the Mariners signed Fernano Vina to a minor league deal.

  31. Mr. Egaas on January 9th, 2006 4:44 pm

    Vina, the owner of meticulous facial hair that he is, is not the bat I’m seeking off the bench. Guess that means less of Bloomie in a pinch.


  32. Jim Thomsen on January 9th, 2006 4:58 pm

    The last time Fernando Vina challenged for a job with the Mariners in spring training, he was a 23-year Rule 5 draftee from the Mets.

    — Vina’s main competition as a backup infielder was Greg Litton.

    — Bill Haselman had the edge over Chris Howard and Brian Deak (?) for the backup catching job behind Dave Valle. (Mackey Sasser was out with an injury.)

    — Greg Briley, Dann Howitt and Lee Tinsley were fighting over the last outfield job.

    — The pre-spring rotation was made up of Randy Johnson, Chris Bosio, Erik Hanson, John Cummings and Tim Leary.

    — A 20-year-old lefty named Mike Hampton, who hadn’t pitched above double-A ball, was the surprise of the camp.

    — Contenders for bullpen jobs were Russ Swan, Dave Wainhouse, Dennis Powell, Rich DeLucia and Jim Converse.

    From a March 10, 1993 story by Bob Finnigan:

    “Honing his technique at shortstop, Vina gives Piniella what he prizes off the bench, defense and speed, with 78 steals his two years in the Mets’ system.

    But Vina thinks he can hit, too. In college, he led the nation with 109 hits in 1990 while winning the Pac-10 batting title with a .387 average. He batted .271 and .295 in his two pro seasons.

    “I’m here to show what I’ve got, to make them feel they have to keep me,” he said. “I’ve heard the Mets want to get me back. But I’d prefer to stay.”

    One reason is a longtime friendship with fellow infielder Bret Boone, playing against him in college ball and with him on Team USA in 1989.

    “We switched off at second and short,” Vina said. “I never thought we’d meet up again, but we have. I like that. Maybe it’ll be a tough decision for the Mariners to keep me or not. But for me it’s easy. Now that I’m a Mariner, I want to stay a Mariner.”

    From the June 16, 1993 edition of The Seattle Times:

    “Utility player Fernando Vina, the Rule V player the Mariners preferred to keep, could have stayed in the Seattle organization if the waiver process was a little quicker.

    Vina was returned yesterday to the Mets, who paid $25,000 and assigned him to their Class AAA club in Norfolk.

    But according to M’s Manager Lou Piniella, the Mets “had basically agreed” last week to a trade for one of two prospects the Mariners offered. That would have allowed Seattle to keep Vina and would have been sent to Class AAA Calgary.

    But while Vina was clearing waivers to set up the swap, the Mets made another trade, jeopardizing the Seattle proposal. The Mets traded shortstop Tony Fernandez Thursday night to Toronto for outfielder Darrin Jackson. At the same time, the Mets called up infielder Doug Saunders from Class AAA.

    “Then the Mets had no one in Triple-A to replace him (Saunders),” Piniella said. “So (GM Alan) Harazin called and said they wanted Vina back.”

  33. Jim Thomsen on January 9th, 2006 5:00 pm

    Oh, and Vina was moved primarily so the M’s could bring up Bret Boone from Calgary.

    The wheel of the circle goes round and round, and the painted ponies go up and down ….

  34. Evan on January 9th, 2006 5:08 pm

    I miss having a AAA team in Calgary (my home town). It was an exciting place to play baseball. Erratic weather. High winds, usually blowing out to right. 3000′ elevation. Chance of snow every month of the year.

  35. Jim Thomsen on January 9th, 2006 5:18 pm

    Confirmation of the Vina and Appier deals here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=mlb&id=2286131

    So far, nothing on the M’s site. Say what you want about Jim Street (and most of it’s accurate), but at least he wasn’t slow.

  36. Smegmalicious on January 9th, 2006 5:51 pm

    I know it’s been said before, but please GOD, not another Sele.

  37. hw1933 on January 9th, 2006 5:58 pm

    As a follower of the NL Central, I feel somewhat qualified to speak on the topics of Branyan and Vina.

    Branyan CAN play third base. He is competent. Certainly nothing special. He can also hit BOMBS. But Russ is the classic streak power hitter. He will go several games or maybe even a week plus where he will wear the opposition OUT. And then follows the trough of strikeouts galore. If your manager is patient and can appreciate the promise of a 3-run shot every so often sprinkled with some walks and ok defense then Russ is a fine part-time player at third as well as first or the outfield. He has voiced a clear preference for third base. (If that matters to anyone)

    I don’t know this for a fact, but I think his body type lends itself to injury. Russ has battled owies in his career and seeing him firsthand his lean frame and violent swing seem to be a poor match.

    Vina was always a fun player to watch, because he is the definitive scrapper. And unlike most known “battling little guys” at his best he was pretty good minus power.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that time off allowed his body to recover from the abuse he put it through with his take no prisoners approach. The record of guys taking time off and then coming back isn’t so hot. But I will be rooting for him.

  38. Mr. Egaas on January 9th, 2006 6:10 pm

    Most likely to spike a fan: Carl Everett
    Most likely to spike an opposing shortstop: Fernando Vina

  39. wabbles on January 9th, 2006 6:45 pm

    Well, at least they are cheap. Otherwise, I’m a lot less optimistic after reading ESPN.com.

    “Appier, 38, has not appeared in a major league game since April 23, 2004, when he left a start with the Kansas City Royals after the first inning with pain in his surgically repaired right elbow.
    He attempted a comeback with the Royals, the team he spent the majority of his 16-year career with, in 2005 but failed to make the Opening Day roster and retired shortly thereafter.
    The 36-year-old Vina missed the entire 2005 campaign with the Detroit Tigers with a strained right hamstring and tendinitis in his left knee, one season after he was limited to just 29 games due to injuries.”

    This is Crazy Bill down at Seattle Mariners Used Major Leaguers! PUSH, PULL or DRAG your 30-something HECK! 40-something major leaguer down to our Peoria showroom and MAKE ME AN OFFER! Liberal trade-ins!

    Well, at least they are cheap and we aren’t committed to putting them on the roster. ‘shrug’

  40. Corey on January 9th, 2006 7:11 pm

    After this comment feel free to designate me as the daily idiot, but I like this dumpster diving to a certain extent. This is one of those things that big revenue clubs should be doing a bit more of. Meaning, if you have the flexibility to throw out a few NRI’s for the major league minimum, how does that hurt? As long as the waters of Spring Training don’t become too muddied, the harm would be?

    I’ll do my part and buy a few extra orders of some Dixie’s specials and some annoying yet tasty garlic fries to help cover the cost of a Kevin Appier start. 😉

  41. Tek Jansen on January 9th, 2006 7:43 pm

    There is no harm in offering minor league deals to the Vinas and Appiers of the world. At least now the local scribes have an article or two pre-written. One on Appier (the former Mariner killer) and one on Vina (the former Mariner).

  42. Jon Wells on January 9th, 2006 10:26 pm

    No huge obvious errors, but there is one small obvious error 🙂

    In the last question about Matt Thornton, Miller says that both Marcos Carvajal and Luis Gonzalez can be sent to the minors. As a Rule 5 pick Gonzalez cannot be sent to the minors without being offered back to the organization he was drafted from (unless a trade is worked out).

  43. Churchill on January 10th, 2006 1:57 am

    No errors?

    isn’t this an error?

    “The Mariners’ newest two relievers, Marcos Carvajal and Luis E. Gonzalez, have options, so the team can afford to have them start the season in the Minors.”

    Since Gonzalez was a rule 5’er, he can’t be sent to the minors so simply.

  44. Churchill on January 10th, 2006 3:57 am

    Sorry Jon, for some reason I scanned every message but #42 to see if someone noticed that mistake.

    Miller is by far a better guy for mlb than Street. Street got lazy there the past few years and was never the most informed human on the planet.

  45. Chris Becker on January 10th, 2006 6:23 am

    44, one of my favorite quotes about Jim ‘At Least I’m Not Art Thiel’ Street came from Dave Valle a few decades ago when he said,”I never read the newspapers. I don’t need Jim Street to tell me I’m not hitting. I already KNOW that I’m not hitting.”

  46. msb on January 10th, 2006 8:09 am

    according to Larue this morning, Appier has pitched a little for Mayaguez (and so for Chaves) in Winter Ball this year…

  47. Churchill on January 10th, 2006 8:38 am

    When they say a little, they mean very little.

    Appier has logged all of four innings down in Puerto Rico for the Mayaguez Indians.

    The four frames have come in two starts where Appier has allowed one earned run on three walks,a hit batter and three whiffs. He has yet to allow a hit, however.

  48. DMZ on January 10th, 2006 9:13 am

    On the mailbag — when I said “huge, obvious errors” I meant the kind of stuff we’d come to expect from Street, like
    – Carlos Delgado is a switch-hitter
    – the wrong player on the wrong team
    – if you move a DH out of the DH slot, you only get eight fielders
    … something like that. I don’t consider the Rule 5 status of a marginal minor leaguer to be quite on the level of the multiple errors/mailbag we used to harp on Street for.

  49. msb on January 10th, 2006 10:08 am

    #47– plus whatever he has been doing with Chaves between appearances; FWIW, Appier didn’t start the winter ball season with Mayaguez, he appears to be a late arrival.

  50. mike on January 10th, 2006 1:27 pm

    There is no way that either Appier or Vina will make either A) The Mariners roster, or B) the Tacoma roster. The M’s always bring in guys like this during spring training (eg. Benji Gil last year), and they always disappear before April 5.

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