We have lots of small items to get to after I took a long weekend off, so let’s jump in:
The official list of minor league free agents came out, and several 2014 Rainiers players are on it. As expected, Logan Kensing, Xavier Avery, Blake Beavan, Nate Tenbrink, and Leury Bonilla are all free agents.
You might recall I was unsure if all-star infielder Gabriel Noriega qualified for free agency. It turns out that he does. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Mariners try to re-sign him.
The major league General Managers meetings started over the weekend, and this means that the off-season rumor mill started churning.
We are going to be hearing rumors involving the Mariners throughout the winter – especially since the front office stated that payroll is going to increase. Most of these rumors will concern established right-handed hitters who can play outfield or first base/DH.
The M’s are definitely going to do something. We’ll have to wait and see what Jack Z has up his sleeve.
If you think chasing the rumors is fun (I do!), check the links down below.
Meanwhile, the Winter Leagues continue and one of our guys has reported. Erasmo Ramirez made his first start for Cardinales de Lara in Venezuela over the weekend, working six strong innings.
Two starting pitchers of note for Rainiers fans are performing well right now: James Gillheeney and Victor Sanchez.
Gillheeney spent nearly all of 2014 with the Rainiers, and he had his ups and downs. But in Mexico right now, it’s all positive for Gillheeney: he’s made six starts with a 2.37 ERA, and a 21-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 30.1 innings.
Sanchez spent the 2014 season at Double-A Jackson and is a strong candidate to jump to Tacoma next year. He’s with Erasmo pitching for Lara, and he’s made six starts with a 2.73 ERA.
- We will find out on Wednesday if Felix Hernandez wins the Cy Young Award. I think he will.
- Baseball America has the complete list of minor league free agents from all 30 organizations.
- On his Mariners blog, Ryan Divish has a round-up of the latest Mariners-related rumors from the GM meetings.
- Bob Dutton also has a look at the latest Mariners rumors.
- The Japan All-Star Series is underway and Robinson Cano had two hits in the first game. Hisashi Iwakuma starts either Thursday or Friday (your guess is as good as mine once the International Date Line gets involved).
- Ex-Rainiers star Raul Ibanez has surfaced as a managerial candidate in Tampa Bay.
- Former Rainiers and Mariners pitcher J.J. Putz has joined the Arizona Diamondbacks front office.
- In the PCL, Keith Johnson has a new job in the Angels organization after four years as the Salt Lake Bees manager.
- Congratulations to PCL Director of Business Melanie Fiore, who won the Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year Award.
- It’s Veteran’s Day today, so here is president Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s letter to baseball commissioner Judge Landis encouraging the continuation of baseball during World War II.