Ms sign Adam Kennedy to a Minor League Deal

January 10, 2011 · Filed Under Mariners · 30 Comments 

And all of a sudden, the Mariners have a middle infield logjam.

Multiple sources are tweeting that the Ms have signed 2B Adam Kennedy to a minor league deal. You may remember Kennedy as the Angels’ Howie Kendrick placeholder of choice from the early part of last decade. What you probably don’t remember offhand is that from 2001-2005, Kennedy averaged 2.8 WAR per season, holding his own at the plate while providing excellent 2B defense.

Now 35 (literally now – his birthday is today), Kennedy is coming off a pretty abysmal season for the Nationals. But then again, he is also only two seasons removed from posting a .337 wOBA for the A’s in 2009. As Dave is fond of reminding us, we really have no idea how to tell when an older player is done, and when he’s merely having an isolated bad year. If Kennedy still has something in the tank this could be a nice little zero-risk pickup. If he doesn’t, or if Ackley forces the Ms’ hand early in the 2011 season, the team can cut him loose. No harm, no foul.

In news that probably only I care about, this also makes Luis Rodriguez’s chances of making the team out of ST that much more remote.

Figgins Back To Third

January 7, 2011 · Filed Under Mariners · 68 Comments 

We all saw this coming, but Jack Z tells Kirby Arnold that Chone Figgins will be moving back to third base for 2011. The second base experiment was an unmitigated disaster, and with Dustin Ackley on the way, there was no point having Figgins take another run at it. With Figgins back at third, Brendan Ryan is clear to begin the season as the starting second baseman. If Ackley forces a promotion at some point in the summer, then they have the flexibility to have Ryan take over at shortstop if need be.

It’s only news in the sense that it the rumor is now confirmed, but it’s nice to see that the M’s are making the logical move here.

Edgar’s HOF Support Drops

January 5, 2011 · Filed Under Mariners · 121 Comments 

This is expected, as we’d seen enough early ballots to get a feel for where this was headed, but today’s HOF voting announcement reveals that Edgar Martinez has seen his proportion of the vote drop in his second year of eligibility. After getting 36 percent of the vote last year, he fell to 33 percent this year. We have always suspected that Edgar’s only possible path to Cooperstown was the long slow road, and this simply confirms that suspicion. Realistically, with the glut of power hitters coming on the ballots over the next few years, Edgar doesn’t have much of a chance for the next decade or so.

It’s a bit sad, but it’s also reality. For the next ten years, we’re going to spend one day in early January trying to figure out what the direction of Martinez’s vote total means for his possible election in the following year. Prepare for one very long haul.

Bard Comes Back on NRI

January 4, 2011 · Filed Under Mariners · 6 Comments 

The January Baseball Doldrums brought news that Josh Bard re-signed with the Mariners today, providing competition for Adam Moore at the back-up catcher position, or at least more competition than Chris Gimenez is likely to provide. Note also how much Bard’s comments seem to mirror those that the front office is likely to make, right down to the “at the end of the day” in the third sentence. Also that we apparently have the green light to call our new manager “Wedgie,” though I would not encourage it.

Bard only appeared in thirty-nine games with the Mariners last year, which seems off until you realize that Adam Moore and Rob Johnson caught roughly the same number of innings last year, and we also saw Eliezer Alfonzo for a while. That he was the best hitting Mariners catcher last season is equal parts enlightening and appalling. In Tacoma, however, the best hitter was Rob Johnson followed by Moore, so at least that’s moderately encouraging. Bard may see more of Tacoma this season depending on how things shake out during spring training.

Olivo Signs With M’s, Capuano Does Not

January 3, 2011 · Filed Under Mariners · 10 Comments 

The Mariners officially announced the Miguel Olivo signing today, only about a month after it was agreed to. Timeliness is apparently not next to Godliness. To make room on the 40 man roster, Anthony Varvaro was designated for assignment. They’ll trade him to someone who will take a shot on his velocity and hope he figures out how to throw strikes. He’s not a big loss.

In actual news, you can forget the Chris Capuano speculation, as he’s agreed to join the Mets on a one year deal. It’s not Safeco, but Citi Field is another pretty good pitcher’s park, and there’s no DH in the NL, so he still did okay for himself. The M’s will have to look elsewhere for a cheap back-end starting pitcher.

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