Happy Holidays, friends!
We’ve got two rounds of mailbags coming your way this week. Consider these to be early holiday gifts. Sorry. No refunds, though. Much like that box of Almond Roca you’re bound to get, you’re stuck with me.
A lot to tackle this week in terms of your questions, including everyone’s favorite topic: The Mariners and the free-agent market.
We talk about current players, prospective players and the organizational philosophy — for better or worse — about their approach to free agency. As always, good questions. (Note: Questions slightly edited for clarity.)
Let’s get to it!
Would you trade George Kirby for Jordan Walker (outfield prospect with the St. Louis Cardinals)? Cards need a starter and Mariners need a bat — David L.
I would not trade George Kirby for anything, David. Open to other ideas and concepts, but I’m not trading Kirby or Logan Gilbert at any point soon. Young, controllable, dynamic and high-upside starting pitching isn’t easy to come by (free agency, trades or even drafting and developing). Hang onto these guys at all costs, I say. Maybe that’s being a little bit short-sided, but I think these two are going to be the cornerstones of the staff for years to come. If you don’t have starting pitching, you don’t have a chance.
We’ve heard that another right-handed hitter is desirable (platoon with Jarred Kelenic?) and it seems that Trey Mancini is the best option. Any news on whether we have checked in on the remaining free-agent outfielders? — Joseph M.
Here’s my problem with Mancini, Joe. He wasn’t good after being traded to the Astros (77 wRC+ and a 26 percent strikeout rate). I watched him closely during the postseason and those struggles persisted (1-for-21 with eight strikeouts). His performance has been in decline for a while and I’m not sure how he fits here, offensively and defensively. I think the Mariners will fill this spot(s) — a right-handed hitting outfielder and/or a right-handed hitting outfielder/first baseman — through the trade market.
The Mariners continue to lean into their trade, draft, develop philosophy and lose out on short-term deals with veterans like Cody Bellinger and J.D. Martinez. Why do we keep missing out on signing these players? Is it a lack of interest on our end or the free agents’ end? These deals seem affordable and short for a veteran bat that could fit in the middle/lower part of the lineup. — Brian W.
I’m not sure they’re “losing out” on these guys because they have essentially stated they are looking more toward the trade market for additions. Bellinger doesn’t fit at all what they’re looking for (he had a 27 percent strikeout rate last season and doesn’t hit for average), but I’m with you on Martinez. I thought he would have been a nice fit here. I will state the obvious here, and I believe it: Ignoring or bypassing one roster-building component (in this case, free-agent position players) feels like a missed opportunity, especially for where this team is today. That said, I don’t write the checks.
Would the Mariners make a free-agent exception for Jurickson Profar? (Kamil Krzaczynski/ USA Today)
What do you think about two years and $24 million for Jurickson Profar? He seems to fit what the Mariners want to do? — David S.
I like the player, David. But not at that price. And you’re right, he can help with his positional flexibility and his ability to control the strike zone. I can see a one-year deal ($10 million) maybe but, again, I think the Mariners want to fill this need through trade. If they do add a free agent, I’m assuming he’ll be on a one-year deal. Got to save that money for a run at Shohei Ohtani!
Why do the Mariners seem to go the trade route more than free agency? — Kris B.
Jerry Dipoto has explained this several times this winter. Here’s a link to my story from the Winter Meetings. Dipoto said this: “We’re built on draft, development and trades. We use free agency in a way to augment our roster … not build it. I think that’s the way championship teams are typically built.” Like it or not, agree with it or not, this is their preferred means of doing business. There are a lot of factors in play here and I won’t get into all of them, but I will say the trade market opens you up to a big catalog of players at various stages of controllability. The Luis Castillo trade is a prime example. They got what I think is one of the top pitchers in the game for prospects — good prospects — but prospects just the same. They then locked Castillo up to a nice deal ($21 million AAV). Again, you may not like their way of doing business, but they have their reasons.
Over/under one position player free-agent signing for the Mariners during the remainder of Jerry Dipoto’s time with the Mariners? Tim Beckham feels like a long time ago. Nori Aoki feels like a lifetime ago. Where may I find the subsection of the new CBA that bars Seattle from signing free-agent position players? — Sincerely, Spoiled Mariner Fan (Jack J.)
It’s in really, really small print. Somewhere in the last 3,000 pages (I think). And excuse me, Jack! Did you forget that Beckham was the American League Player of the Week the first week in 2019? How can you put a price tag on that? All kidding aside, it’s noteworthy that Dipoto has steered clear of free-agent position players given how far he’s gone in the other direction with trades. I think, again, this just goes back to their philosophy of trading for and drafting and developing position players. I don’t know if it’s the fear of how these contracts look on the back end in terms of player performance or not (I’m sure that’s part of it).
Where does Emerson Hancock fall in the team’s plan for 2023? — Matt M.
When Hancock has been healthy, he’s been fantastic. His work ethic, I’ve been told, is off the charts. That sounds like an empty statement, but apparently it rings true with people in the organization. Hancock’s fastball has good life and he can sink it below the belt. The changeup has also been a good pitch. I think the challenge for him is finding a slider that’s workable for him and one he can lean on. I assume that’s probably something he’s working on as I type this. Lots to like here. You never know how this goes, but maybe we’ll see him in Seattle sometime in 2023.
What would you be doing for a job if you weren’t a sportswriter? — Andy S.
Great question, Andy. For starters, I wouldn’t (likely) have Twitter, which would be a real blessing. A long time ago, I was a high school baseball coach. That was a blast, though I feel that was simply a chapter for me. I feel like I landed where I should have — and it’s presented me with some great opportunities (working for the newspaper I grew up reading in Tacoma, living in San Diego for nine years and now landing at The Athletic). I’ve met so many wonderful people that I wouldn’t otherwise have met had I been doing something different. I’m sort of skirting around your question, so let’s go with this: Working as a docent at the LBJ Library in Austin (after winning the lottery, of course). Beer, BBQ and live music. I can live with that.
Corey, what do you think about trading for Luis Arraez from Minnesota? He would be a DH/1B/2B and even 3B. He would give us a top-of-the-order bat who gets on base and doesn’t strike out. I think at 26 and three years left of team control, the Mariners could work with him to eventually be the everyday second baseman next year. Maybe Chris Flexen, Matt Brash and Gabe Gonzalez? — Darrin M.
Darrin, I like where your head is. A 3.0 WAR player with positional versatility who gets on base and doesn’t strike out and with club control? Sign me up for a bunch of those guys. Honestly, the Twins probably are asking a ton for him (as they should) and would probably prefer he’s part of the group they’re building for their next run at the postseason. I don’t see why they would move him at this time. Would be an overpay for someone. The package you propose is probably fair, though maybe one prospect light. I don’t see this happening but I like the player a lot.
Do you trust the bullpen as currently constructed, especially with Erik Swanson gone? Really feels like they could use at least an Andrew Chafin/Taylor Rogers type. Should I give up hope on the idea? — Jason R.
I mean, I do and I don’t. Hard to argue the performance of the bullpen the last two seasons but it’s probably a bit foolish to expect everything to go as swimmingly in 2023 as it did in 2021 and 2022. Bullpen arms can be volatile from year to year. I don’t think you’re out of line asking about adding another arm. We know Casey Sadler is coming back on a minor-league deal, but we’ll have to see what he looks like post-shoulder surgery. If the Mariners do add here, I would expect it might happen late (like January or right before spring training), depending on the inventory of guys still available.
Does Jerry Dipoto still need to sign off on every move or does Justin Hollander have the authority to make trade and signing decisions on his own (within a given budget)? I’d be curious to know how their dynamic works. — Tim A.
Yes, as the president of baseball operations, I’m certain Dipoto does sign off. Plus, these moves involve a lot of people and a lot of input. To move forward, I’m sure Dipoto has to put his stamp of approval on it.
Do you think it’s more likely they make a significant trade/signing to improve the back end of the rotation or for a high-leverage reliever? — Nicholas N.
They are set on starting pitchers, especially if they don’t intend to move Flexen or Marco Gonzales. I’m all for depth and I think it’s asking a lot for them to go through another year like 2022 in terms of good health for everyone in the rotation. As for the bullpen, I don’t see a big addition there. As I mentioned above, maybe a small signing in January or February or possibly a guy on a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.
Is Shohei Ohtani a possibility in 2024? — Emily H.
Absolutely. I don’t have any great insight into this, but I have to think the Mariners are positioning themselves for another run at Ohtani. A serious run.
(Photo of Ohtani and J.P. Crawford: Gary A. Vasquez / USA Today)
George Joseph Kirby (born February 4, 1998) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2022. Rye, New York, U.S.Who did the Mariners get in trade? ›
Seattle Mariners signed free agent LHP Kyle Hart to a minor league contract. Seattle Mariners selected the contract of RHP Bryan Woo from Arkansas Travelers. Seattle Mariners selected the contract of 1B Mike Ford from Tacoma Rainiers. Seattle Mariners optioned LF Taylor Trammell to Tacoma Rainiers.In what year did the Seattle Mariners first play in Major League Baseball? ›
They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West division. The team joined the American League as an expansion team in 1977 playing their home games in the Kingdome.Who are the starters for the Seattle Mariners? ›
- J. Crawford , (L), SS.
- T. France , (R), 1B.
- J. Rodriguez , (R), CF.
- J. Kelenic , (L), CF.
- E. Suarez , (R), 3B.
- C. Raleigh , (S), C.
- T. Hernandez , (R), RF.
- T. Trammell , (L), CF.
Walter Johnson, 1924 Washington Senators (age 36)
At the age of 36, the Big Train led the AL in wins (23), ERA (2.72) and K's (158) and had a chance to pitch in the postseason for the first time after the Senators won the pennant.
Nolan Ryan (1973, '74, '75, '89, '90 AL; 1981 NL); inducted into Hall of Fame: 1999.Why did Mariners trade Ken Griffey Jr? ›
Armstrong called Goldberg during that offseason and said that the Mariners weren't able to offer Griffey a contract to return to Seattle right then and there because new GM Jack Zduriencik was going to put the roster together and see where things stood first.Who did the Mariners trade to get Randy Johnson? ›
Hall of Fame Membership
As the keepers of the Game's history, the Hall of Fame helps you relive your memories and celebrate baseball history. On July 31, 1998 – minutes before the midnight trading deadline – the Astros acquired Johnson from the Mariners for prospects Freddy García, Carlos Guillén and John Halama.
Selected the contract of RHP Bryan Woo from Arkansas (TL). Placed LHP Marco Gonzales on the 15-day IL. Transferred RHP Easton McGee from the 15-day IL to the 60-day IL. Selected the contract of INF Mike Ford from Tacoma (PCL).What is the oldest team in MLB? ›
They remained legally separate entities until 2000, when they merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball. MLB is headquartered in Midtown Manhattan. Baseball's first all-professional team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, was founded in 1869.
Ken Griffey Jr. - 1989-1999, 2009-2010 (70.6 WAR) The best player to ever wear a Seattle Mariners jersey is center fielder Ken Griffey Jr., so it should come as no surprise to find him at number one on the team's all-time WAR list.What is the oldest major league baseball? ›
The Cincinnati Red Stockings made their mark as the first openly professional baseball club in 1869. Members of the team would go on to form a club that still plays ball today, the Atlanta Braves.Who is the best hitter in the Seattle Mariners 2023? ›
|Player Player on team||GP Games played||H Hits|
|K. Wong 2B||39||18|
|T. Trammell LF||20||6|
|C. Hummel DH||10||2|
Seattle Mariners Are a Young Team
The Mariners active roster as of today has an average age of 29 for hitters, 27 for pitchers.
Mariners' closer Paul Sewald is still thriving despite infrequent appearances.Who is the best pitcher in MLB history? ›
1. Walter Johnson. Topping the list of the best MLB pitchers of all time is former Washington Senators great Walter Johnson. Walter Johnson, also known as 'The Big Train,' was a dominant force on the mound for more than a decade.Who is the winningest pitcher of all time? ›
Cy Young holds the MLB win record with 511; Walter Johnson is second with 417. Young and Johnson are the only players to earn 400 or more wins.Who has the worst ERA in MLB? ›
The lowest single-season ERA in league history was posted by Tim Keefe, whose 0.86 ERA in 105 innings pitched for the National League's Troy Trojans in 1880 led his closest competitor by . 52 runs.Has anyone ever thrown a no-hitter and lost? ›
On April 23, 1964, Ken Johnson of the Houston Colt . 45s became the first pitcher to throw a nine-inning no-hitter and lose. In fact, he is still the only individual to throw an official (nine-inning) no-hitter and lose.Who holds the no-hitter record? ›
The pitcher who holds the record for the most no-hitters is Nolan Ryan, who threw seven in his 27-year career. His first two came exactly two months apart with the California Angels: the first on May 15, 1973, and the second on July 15. He had two more with the Angels on September 28, 1974, and June 1, 1975.
MLB's 23 perfect games were thrown by 23 different pitchers, meaning no player has ever recorded more than one and there has never been a combined perfecto. The Yankees and White Sox are tied for the most perfect games with three apiece.Why doesn t Ken Griffey like the Yankees? ›
The story of Griffey and his hatred from the Yankees all started when former Yankees manager Bill Martin had an employee tell Griffey Jr. and his brother, Craig, to pipe down while near the Yankees clubhouse. Giffey Jr. felt that he was being singled out, as other sons of players were being just as loud.Why did Ken Griffey Jr not want to play for the Yankees? ›
Ken Griffey Jr. said in the documentary "Junior," which premiered on Sunday, that he never signed with the New York Yankees during his MLB career because he felt that the owner George Steinbrenner discriminated against him as a kid.Why Ken Griffey Jr is the best player of all time? ›
Ken Griffey Jr. was noted as “the most popular player of the past 30 years.” After reaching the major leagues at the age of 19, he played with his dad on the Mariners outfield and made some of the most amazing catches of all time. He played for 22 years, a 13-time All-Star and hit 630 home runs in his career.Why did Randy Johnson leave the Mariners? ›
Eleven years ago, Randy Johnson was traded to the Houston Astros for Freddy Garcia, Carlos Guillen and John Halama. He was bitter that he couldn't get a new contract worked out in Seattle. Three years after the trade, Johnson was a World Series MVP and getting paid what he deserved in Arizona.Who did Montreal trade Randy Johnson for? ›
Following the conclusion of the blowout loss, the Mariners agreed to a deal with the Expos, sending left-hander Mark Langston and a player to be named later to Montreal in exchange for three pitchers: Right-handers Gene Harris and Brian Holman, and left-handed future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson.Why did Minnesota trade Randy Moss? ›
I sacrificed so much," Moss said. "I honestly think I got traded out of here because I only cared about the game of football. I know that seems weird, it sounds weird, but I didn't really do anything outside of the game of football. I didn't go anywhere, I didn't like to mingle a lot, I only cared about football.Have the Mariners ever thrown a no hitter? ›
The Seattle Mariners are a Major League Baseball franchise based in Seattle, Washington. Formed in 1977, they play in the American League West division. Pitchers for the Mariners have thrown six (6) no-hitters in franchise history.How did Mariners get Haggerty? ›
In 2022, Haggerty received a non-roster invitation to Mariners' spring training and began the season in AAA with the Tacoma Rainiers. He was selected to the Mariners' active roster on May 22. He was optioned down on June 17, but recalled on June 29.What happened to Mariners Sam Haggerty? ›
Haggerty, 28, was placed on the concussion IL on April 16 (retroactive to April 15) after he exited the game in the ninth inning on April 14 against Colorado. He slammed his forehead into the ground of T-Mobile Park while making a diving stop on a ground ball.
The oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball can be found in Boston. Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, opened in 1912. Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, is the next-oldest MLB ballpark and will celebrate its 99-year anniversary in 2023. After Fenway and Wrigley, all other MLB venues opened in 1962 or later.Who is the youngest MLB team right now? ›
Young, athletic teams are flourishing under MLB's new rules. The Orioles, Rays and Guardians—the three youngest teams in baseball—are off to a combined 12–4 start while stealing 22 bases in 23 tries.What MLB player has been traded the most? ›
Chavez is the most traded player in MLB history, according to MLB.com.Who is Mariners main rival? ›
The Angels–Mariners rivalry is a Major League Baseball (MLB) divisional rivalry played between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners as both teams play in the American League West Division.What was the Mariners biggest comeback? ›
T-1. 12 Runs: Cleveland 15, Seattle Mariners 14, 11 innings (Aug. 5, 2001)How many Mariners have thrown a perfect game? ›
The Seattle Mariners, an expansion team that began play in the American League in 1977, have six no-hitters over the team's short history. Randy Johnson threw the Mariners' first no-hitter in 1990, and Chris Bosio added one in 1993.Who is the youngest MLB player? ›
Who is the youngest player in MLB history? Joe Nuxhall pitched in 526 games over his 16 year career. When he made his first appearance in 1944, he was 15 years and 316 days old. He remains the youngest player to appear in an American League or National League game in Major League Baseball.What baseball team has never moved? ›
The Detroit Tigers are one of the rare teams from the early 1900s to have never gone through a name change or relocation—they have been the Motor City's baseball team for 119 years. Over that time, the Tigers have won four World Series but are currently in the midst of a 35-year run without a title.When was the golden age of MLB? ›
Traditionally, the Golden Age of Baseball is said to span between 1920-1960.Who was a better player Mantle or Mays? ›
Both had great speed, but while Mickey was clearly faster, Willie stole more bases because the fear of injury to his bad legs prevented Mickey from attempting to steal very often. Mickey had more power, but Willie hit more home runs because he played longer and took fewer pitches.
|1 P. AlonsoNYM||21|
|2 A. JudgeNYY||19|
|3 M. MuncyLAD||18|
|4 J. SolerMIA||17|
In spite of Pete Rose's 44-game hitting streak in 1978 and his achievement of more than 3,000 hits in his career, Mickey Mantle has been selected as the greatest switch hitter in baseball history.What sport has the oldest average age? ›
Tactical and precision sports with lower physical loads such as sailing, shooting, and equestrianism had the oldest ages. The median age for equestrians was 35 for women and 38 for men. The averages were higher still, at 39 and 36.Who is the youngest MLB captain? ›
Jerry Remy, who was named as captain of the California Angels in 1977 at age 24, explains that in today's modern age of baseball, "there's probably no need for a captain on a major league team. I think there are guys who lead by example.What is the newest MLB team? ›
The National Football League, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League have all added teams this century; MLB's last addition came in 1998 (Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks).Who is the Mariners ace? ›
Mariners ace Luis Castillo again has lofty goals — and they seem quite realistic this season | The Seattle Times.Who is the Seattle Mariners Triple A affiliate? ›
The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners and the 2021 Triple-A West Champions. Here you can find information on Cheney Stadium, Rainiers world-famous merchandise, and ticket information.Who is the best Mets closer? ›
Tug McGraw. If there's one reliever who really set a standard for the Mets, it would be Tug McGraw, one of the best closers in Mets history and one of the best in the league during his career.What country did the game Kirby come from? ›
The first game in the Kirby series, Kirby's Dream Land for the original Game Boy, was released in Japan on April 27, 1992 and later in North America, Europe and Australasia in August that year. A simple game, consisting of five levels, it introduced Kirby's ability to inhale enemies and objects.Who created the Kirby series? ›
Dan Bankhead was the first African American pitcher in Major League Baseball. Before that, he played in Negro League baseball for the Birmingham Black Barons and the Memphis Red Sox from 1940 to 1947. Dan Bankhead as a Major League Baseball pitcher with the Brooklyn Dodgers sometime between 1947 and 1951.Where did George Kirby grow up? ›
“It's definitely surreal, especially growing up in New York as a Yankee fan,” he said. “I haven't really wrapped my head around it.” Kirby, naturally, was more amped than usual for his first start against his childhood team.What is the most sold Kirby game? ›
According to Nintendo of Japan's latest financial results, Kirby and the Forgotten Land for the Nintendo Switch surpassed 5.27 million copies sold, making it the best-selling Kirby game of all time.Why was Kirby originally white? ›
Kirby appears white in Kirby's Dream Land (1992) due to the grayscale palette of the Game Boy system. Sakurai intended the character to be pink, though Miyamoto had originally thought the character to be yellow.How much did Kirby and the Forgotten Land sell? ›
The game sold 2.1 million units in two weeks. As of March 31, 2023, Kirby and the Forgotten Land has sold 6.46 million copies worldwide.What gender is Kirby? ›
Conversation. Sakurai has indeed said that Kirby's was genderless. However, I believe HAL has used "he" (彼) on post Sakurai games (in instruction manuals and websites), and it was used in the anime.How much is the Kirby franchise worth? ›
Kirby net worth as of June 02, 2023 is $4.48B.What animal is Kirby? ›
It's actually a northern bobwhite quail; his name is Kirby, and he's an animal ambassador for the Reversing the Quail Decline Initiative. Kids certainly aren't the only ones who are enthralled by Kirby Quail.Who was the black female pitcher in a league of their own? ›
The result was Max Chapman, a fictional Black female and queer pitcher portrayed by Chanté Adams. Her initial chance to take to the field amid the launch of the All-American Girls League is denied because of the color of her skin, a move that turns A League of Their Own into a tale of two fields.Who was the first black baseball pitcher in the MLB? ›
Dan Bankhead was the first African American pitcher in Major League Baseball. Before that, he played in Negro League baseball for the Birmingham Black Barons and the Memphis Red Sox from 1940 to 1947. Dan Bankhead as a Major League Baseball pitcher with the Brooklyn Dodgers sometime between 1947 and 1951.
He then returned to life in the minors and barnstorming, resurfacing in the majors at the age of 59 in a one-game stint with the Athletics on Sept. 25, 1965. He pitched three shutout innings. Paige was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1971 as the first electee of the Committee on Negro Baseball Leagues.What is George Kirby's salary? ›
George Kirby signed a 1 year / $758,300 contract with the Seattle Mariners, including $758,300 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $758,300. In 2023, Kirby will earn a base salary of $758,300, while carrying a total salary of $758,300.What happened to George Kirby? ›
On September 30, 1995, Kirby died of Parkinson's disease at a nursing home in Las Vegas.Where is Kirby live? ›
Kirby lives in a dome-shaped house somewhere in Dream Land (presumably in Green Greens), but where he lived prior to when he took back the food and Sparkling Stars from King Dedede in the first game remains a mystery.