So far the Mariners have not made any big moves at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando this week, but they have made some additions which should help the 2018 Tacoma Rainiers.
First and foremost, the Mariners are bringing back infielder Gordon Beckham on a minor league contract. Beckham can fill a big hole in the Rainiers infield, playing any of three spots.
A veteran of eight Major League seasons, the 31-year-old Beckham hit .262 with nine homers and 45 RBI in 83 games for Tacoma last year. He’s also a good clubhouse guy and should help set an example for any younger players on the club.
The Mariners also claimed a Triple-A outfielder off waivers from the Phillies. Cameron Perkins is a 27-year-old outfielder out of Purdue who has spent all or parts of the last three seasons with the Phillies Triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.
In 2017 Perkins made his major league debut, hitting .182 in 42 games (88 at-bats). But at Triple-A Lehigh Valley he batted .288 with a .373 on-base percentage and a .488 slugging percentage in a pitcher-friendly league. He should hit well in the Pacific Coast League.
However, Perkins has to still be in the organization in April to help the Rainiers. Holding down one of the final five spots on Jerry Dipoto‘s 40-man roster is a very tenuous proposition. We’ll have to wait-and-see on Perkins.
One other move: the Mariners released projected Rainiers pitcher Seth Frankoff so he could sign with a team in Korea and make a bunch of cash. Frankoff was acquired by the Mariners a couple of days after the 2017 PCL season ended, so he never appeared in a game for the Rainiers or any Mariners-affiliated team.
Former Rainiers slugger Jabari Blash was dealt this morning in Orlando, from the San Diego Padres to the New York Yankees. He was traded for third baseman Chase Headley (and his large contract) and a pitching prospect.
Blash was known for his tape measure home runs in Tacoma – and more recently, El Paso. Now he joins Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in New York, where his batting practice moon shots will have some competition, to say the least. Hopefully he makes the team in a reserve role just for some 5:00 fun – maybe the three of them can hit in the same BP group.
- Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times is in Orlando covering the Winter Meetings, where he has all of today’s Mariners-related news in one constantly updating post. If you missed it yesterday, here is his rolling report from Day One.
- After taking a couple of years off, Larry Stone has returned to the Winter Meetings. He recalls some stories from his previous times there.
- Today, Stone shared his thoughts on the Ohtani-less Mariners.
- John McGrath writes that Jerry Dipoto and the Mariners did the right thing in their pursuit of Ohtani.
- The Mariners have $3.5 million in international signing bonus cap room to spend if they want. Divish takes a look at who they might spend it on.
- Old acquaintance Andrew Baggarly has a fun story on what the Winter Meetings are really like.
- In a breath of fresh air, the Class-A Tampa Yankees announced they are changing their name to the classic Tampa Tarpons, which was the name of the team from 1957-1987. I guess Tampa Swamp Burgers was already taken.
- Las Vegas has a new WNBA team, and they named it… the Aces. Which makes you wonder, didn’t the Reno Aces trademark that? They did give ’em grief on Twitter.