Free Agent Season Starts

Now that the World Series is five days in the rearview mirror, the Hot Stove League is underway.

The Mariners will once again be looking for right-handed hitting – specifically a player who can hit in between left-handed batters Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager in the lineup. An outfielder or 1B/DH type would be ideal.

There will be plenty of reports on the Mariners big league moves, and we’ll link to them all winter long.

Seattle will also try to sign some players to help the Rainiers, and serve as depth for the major league club.

Specifically, I figure the Mariners will try to sign a couple of Triple-A starting pitchers who have some MLB experience. You just can’t have enough of these guys.

They will also look for a veteran catcher in the Humberto Quintero/Guillermo Quiroz mold, and probably some experienced bullpen help.

I doubt if they will be very active trying to sign free agent infielders or outfielders for the Rainiers – it seems that the organization is well-stocked in these areas. Maybe one veteran outfielder, like Cole Gillespie last season?

We’ll be following it all winter.

As soon as I finished typing the above segment – I mean literally right away – the Mariners announced that they have claimed 26-year-old utility infielder Carlos Rivero off waivers from Boston.

Rivero made his MLB debut last year, getting into four games for Boston. He had good Triple-A seasons in 2012 (Syracuse: .303-10-64) and 2014 (Pawtucket: .286-5-36 in a half-season).

Rivero has been passed around 40-man rosters and is out of options. He’d have to clear waivers before he could ever play for Tacoma.

One move over the weekend made me happy: the Detroit Tigers announced that they re-signed Mike Hessman to a Triple-A contract.

Hessman is the active minor league home run king, with 417 career minor league dingers. He also is the all-time International League home run leader – he has 272 in that league alone.

I figured that the 36-year-old Hessman might retire after reaching 400 and claiming the IL title last season, but instead he is back! Maybe he’ll go for 500.

We won’t see him in 2015; he’ll be with Toledo. Hessman led the PCL with 35 home runs for Oklahoma City in 2012 and that was his only season in our league.

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