Today we’ll follow-up yesterday’s post with links to the articles on all of the major league news that came out of the Mariners Pre-Spring Training Media Luncheon yesterday.
But before we start with that, some good news just broke on Twitter: former Rainiers infielder/outfielder Matt Tuiasosopo has signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets, and he’ll go to spring training and try to win a spot on their roster.
I have long held the opinion that Tuiasosopo is a better fit in the National League. His ability to play nearly every position on the diamond makes him a good candidate to win a major league bench spot in the NL, where the bench is used more frequently due to the pinch-hitting for the pitcher and the double-switches that result from that.
We’ll be rooting for Tui to have a big spring and make the Mets.
On another subject, the Mariners have signed veteran right-hander Brian Sweeney to a minor league contract. If Sweeney makes the Rainiers, this will be his third go-around with Tacoma. He pitched for the Rainiers from 1999-2003, and 2010. He’s spent a lot of time in Japan.
Personally, I’m excited about this. Sweeney is a great guy to have on the club and he also is a broadcaster’s dream: he works quickly and throws strikes.
- John McGrath focused his column on Franklin Gutierrez, who apparently is over the stomach issues that have plagued him for two years.
- Larry Stone of the Seattle Times writes that the Mariners believe in their young core of players, while also being realists.
- It’s looking more and more like Ichiro won’t be batting leadoff this year, Stone writes.
- Will Ichiro bat .300? I voted “yes.”
- On his blog, Stone has ten bullet points from yesterday’s event.
- The Mariners invited Jeff Sullivan to the event, which turned out to not be as exclusive as he had anticipated.
- Shannon Drayer was there, and she posted her thoughts on her blog.
- While Five Guys definitely brings the goods, I agree with Sue Kidd that the local independent joints are better.
- Jesus Montero has been making the media rounds all week; here is a story with lots of quotes from MLB.com.
- Greg Johns wrote about Michael Saunders competing for an outfield job, and other notes.
- Jerry Crasnick, senior baseball writer for ESPN.com, filed this report on the Mariners.
- Also at ESPN, Dave Cameron wrote that the Mariners shouldn’t count themselves out just because they are rebuilding.
- Baseball America released it’s Top-10 Mariners Prospects list. They are the veterans in this field: here is the free list with an overview, and here are the complete scouting reports for subscribers. They chatted about it, too.
- Dave Cameron wrote about Baseball America’s list.
- The Mariners have five prospects who rank among the Top 100 in the game, according to MLB.com’s John Mayo.
- The Mariners FanFest is this weekend – here are all of the details.
- You have to be a Baseball Prospectus subscriber to access this, but Jason Parks continued his “what could go wrong?” series with a look at what could go wrong the Mariners top five prospects.
- Tacoma baseball Hall Of Famer Tom Kelly is having his uniform number retired by the Minnesota Twins.
- Things are always just a little bit different in New Orleans: the Zephyrs held their “annual cocktail reception” with their fans last night.
- Two former Rainiers pitchers who are now free agents have been hit with 50-game suspensions: Chaz Roe and Steven Shell.
- This has nothing to do with baseball, but I think it’s pretty awesome that former NFL quarterback John Kitna is returning to Tacoma’s Lincoln High School to teach math and be the football coach.
Have a great weekend, and try to hit FanFest if you can!