Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times has all sorts of good Mariners info today.
- Kenji Johjima‘s three-year, $24MM extension was mandated by Japanese ownership. Johjima has an opt-out clause after the ’09 season, but only in the event of a serious family issue. The extension looks like a sunk cost for Seattle before it even begins.
- Backup catcher Jamie Burke is a free agent after the season. He would like to return but needs to discuss playing time with the Ms.
- The Mariners’ direction remains unclear – is 2009 a rebuilding year? If so, why didn’t they swap Jarrod Washburn and his contract for a young Twins pitcher? Even if ’09 isn’t a rebuilding year that would’ve made sense.
- The Mariners still have interest in re-signing Raul Ibanez. He may prefer to sign with a contender, leaving the Mariners with even less power.
- Baker believes that with Erik Bedard‘s injury (and possible non-tender), the team should focus on contending around 2011. After the ’11 season, Felix Hernandez will reach free agency.