Winter Meetings Update – Rainiers Style

As noted previously, I am in Las Vegas during the Winter Meetings in a non-work capacity, but I did swing by the festivities and attend the Mariners affiliates dinner on Tuesday night.

We are slow on player news at the moment, but here are a few notes.

  • At the affiliate dinner the M’s Director of Player Personnel Andy McKay was in good spirits, and he met with the Tacoma Rainiers contingent to talk about some of the players he thinks could be with us on opening day. This was off-the-record, and Andy said you never know when there will be four more trades, but he did make it sound like we will have some of the newly acquired prospects at the start of the season. That will be fun, since we haven’t had a “ranked” prospect on opening day since Tyler O’Neill in 2017.
  • McKay announced the promotion of Leslie Manning to Assistant Director of Player Personnel, so she will be making rounds in Tacoma quite a bit.
  • Our coaching staff is going to be announced soon, and unless there are late changes we will have some very familiar faces.
  • We met some front office people from the new Class-A West Virginia affiliate. They described their downtown ballpark and it sounds pretty cool. I asked if it was a hitter’s or pitcher’s park and they said both – it’s depends on the wind. They are going to be stacked with prospects at the start of the season, so you might want to give their radio guy a twitter follow if that’s your thing. His name is David Kahn (@sportskahn4), and he seems like a good kid.
  • The Rainiers contingent includes Ashley Schutt (who is spending most of her time here being congratulated for her award and the infant daughter (no link available) she’s rolling around with), sales gurus Shane Santman and Tim O’Hollaren (who are trying to fill a couple of open sales staff positions), and team owner Mikal Thomsen and his right-hand man Isaac Wells.
  • I have not yet bumped into Bryce Harper, but if I do I promise to sign him on the spot.

Some links in the media:

  • Despite little in the way of Mariners news so far, Seattle Times reporter Ryan Divish is everywhere. You just keep bumping into him. In his Day Two rolling blog post he wrote that Carlos Santana‘s time with the Mariners is likely to be very brief. He also fired off this report on what manager Scott Servais said during his media session.
  • For national news and rumors, here is today’s ESPN thread.
  • In the PCL, former Salt Lake Bees manager Keith Johnson was hired by the Marlins to pilot New Orleans this coming season. Personally, I was hoping Pat Listach would get this gig near his home.

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