Catching Up On The News
Sorry about the lack of content here lately, but hopefully you survived without daily updates on the minor league free agents the M’s were bringing in. I took a few weeks off to focus on other responsibilities, but with spring training set to kick off shortly, we’ll get back in the more regular writing swing of things. For now, let’s catch up on what the M’s have been doing the last few weeks, and we’ll go in order of things you should care about.
Yesterday, Ben Badler of Baseball America announced that the M’s had signed 17-year-old Gabriel Guerrero, the nephew of one Vladimir Guerrero, for $400,000 – an amount that suggests he’s a prospect of some potential beyond his bloodlines. Badler calls him a right fielder with good raw power and a strong arm, and given the last name, you can be sure he’ll draw a lot of comparisons to his famous uncle. Don’t get too excited yet, though – he’s just 17 and most of these kids don’t pan out. Still, it’s nice to see the M’s being proactive in bringing young talent into the system, and Bob Engle’s track record of identifying which kid to sign is better than most.
Today, the Mariners announced that charges will not be filed against Milton Bradley in the case involving his domestic dispute, and that they will have no further comment on the matter. With the courts deciding not to prosecute, this probably becomes something that the team will just ignore. They may still jettison Bradley at some point in March (I have a hard time seeing him opening the year on the roster, honestly), but they won’t be using his latest off the field incident as the reason.
Going back to yesterday, the Mariners also announced that they signed RHP Manny Delcarmen to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. What do you need to know about Delcarmen? He throws hard, but not as hard as he used to, and he hasn’t been any good for a while. If you like David Aardsma but wish he didn’t strike out so many batters, you’ll love Delcarmen. For more reasons to not be overly excited about his addition, read Jeff Sullivan’s note on his declining fastball. That isn’t to say this move is bad or worthless, as pitchers are weird and the general idea is to just get as many as possible and let them fight to the death, but don’t count on Delcarmen coming in and blowing the doors off down in Peoria.
Last week, the Mariners signed Gabe Gross to a minor league deal as well, and he also gets a minor league invite. I actually have a soft spot for Gross and think there’s still a chance he could help a big league team, but it’s hard to see how he’ll fit in with the Mariners. With Michael Saunders, Ryan Langerhans, and Jody Gerut already around, the organization wasn’t exactly running low on left-handed corner outfielders. Gross might be marginally more useful than Gerut, but he doesn’t have Langerhans’ defensive abilities or Saunders’ upside, and as a lefty, he’s not a candidate for a part-time platoon role. He’ll probably head to Tacoma and hope he can hit enough in Triple-A to impress someone.
Pitchers and catchers report on Sunday. For all the news on guys showing up and getting weighed, you should follow the likes of Larry Stone (@stonelarry), Ryan Divish (@ryandivish) Greg Johns (@gregjohnsmlb), and Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) on twitter. I probably won’t be providing minute by minute updates of how Player X is in the best shape of his life, but will weigh in (see what I did there?) when there’s something interesting to talk about.