Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that Ken Griffey Jr. will always get "the respect and dignity he deserves" in Seattle, so don't expect the Mariners to push Junior out of the way now that it seems convenient to do so. As one executive tells Stark, that's not an easy thing to tell a player like Griffey. Here are the rest of Stark's hot stove-related notes from Seattle and around the major leagues:
- Zduriencik says talk that the Mariners are trying to deal for a bat is "overblown" though he concedes that he's always "making phone calls" to other clubs.
- The Mariners will "wait and see what happens" with Cliff Lee, Zduriencik says. Lee becomes a free agent after the season and expects to get paid like an ace.
- The man who traded for Lee last summer, Ruben Amaro Jr., says the Phillies aren't as well-equipped to make a blockbuster move in 2010. "To be frank, I don't know if we have the resources to trade people to get that kind of guy," the GM said.
- Another GM believes one of Amaro's current players, Jayson Werth, may benefit from a relative shortage of right-handed power outfielders this offseason.
- A friend of Lance Berkman's thinks the first baseman would be prepared to accept a trade and leave Houston for a couple months. But the friend is less certain that Berkman would accept a deal if his new club was sure to exercise his 2011 option. At $15MM, there's no guarantee that will happen, in spite of Berkman's recent hot streak.
- Executives on other teams see Carlos Zambrano as a guy who "hasn't pitched like a top-of-the-rotation starter for two years."