Mariners Notes: Free Agents, Montero, Ackley

We just looked at the latest on the Mariners' reported interest in Kendrys Morales and Nelson Cruz, but that isn't the only news out of Seattle today.

  • GM Jack Zduriencik said today that, while he is still keeping an eye out for additions, he is focused primarily on evaluating his current roster as it enters camp, reports Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune"I could have already done a couple of deals," said Zduriencik. "I didn't want to do them. I wanted to figure out what we had here. I want to see our players with our own eyes. Let's let a whole new coaching staff put their hands on them. Get their opinions, and we'll see. There will be opportunities if we want to do something. Not that we will, but I think they'll exist."
  • Whatever hopes the Seattle organization once had for once-treasured prospect Jesus Montero have all but vanished, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. "I have zero expectations for Jesus Montero," said Zduriencik. "Any expectations I had are gone." It would be hard to think of a player who has had a rougher year than Montero, who struggled through injury, PED suspension, and performance issues. Now, he is 40 pounds over his target weight at the start of camp. "After winter ball, all I did was eat," the catcher forthrightly acknowledged. "We are disappointed in how he came in physically," said Zduriencik. "He's got a ton to prove. It's all on him."
  • Another prospect whose star has dimmed somewat is second baseman-turned-outfielder Dustin Ackley,who has now failed to deliver on his promise as a hitter in two straight seasons. Though Ackley had worked mostly in center while learning on the fly last year, new skipper Lloyd McClendon says that he expects Ackley to "be in left field the majority of time." The 25-year-old had graded out quite well at the keystone over his career before the shift. Preliminary returns on his outfield defense have not been promising, though he has logged few innings outside of the infield dirt. On the whole, it seems far less likely that Ackley will be able to carve out a place as a productive big leaguer at the corner outfield than at his native second base, though he has little chance of returning to that spot with Seattle.


53 Responses to Mariners Notes: Free Agents, Montero, Ackley Leave a Reply

  1. Adam Thornton 1 year ago

    montero with a “ton” to prove…

    i get it.

    • Jonathan Barlock 1 year ago

      I honestly dont see him panning out. The trade was a bust for both teams.

      • DMiles5149 1 year ago

        Quite possibly. We’ll see how Pineda rebounds this year, but he had a pretty serious injury. If he’s anything close to what he was, he should win the final spot in the Yanks rotation. And Montero, I don’t even know what to say about him. What is wrong with him? He looks awful. I just don’t see him having any impact at all.

  2. hurley55 1 year ago

    Could see a fair swap where Franklin goes to Toronto for allstar setup man Brett Cecil and toolsy CF prospect Anthony Gose plus another prospect

    • PXDX 1 year ago

      Someone mentioned Franklin for Marcel Ozuna, which is a nice fit for both teams seeing how MIA has a full OF with Marisnick, Yelich and Giancarlo. Ozuna is a talented hitter and fine defender.

      • Drew 1 year ago

        Also that Franklin for Marisnick is a better 1-1 swap.

        • PXDX 1 year ago

          Yeah but MIA is under no pressure to trade anyone, and SEA is, because Franklin is a proven everyday player who has been displaced by Cano.

          • Drew 1 year ago

            M’s aren’t under as much pressure as some assume. Franklin can be sent back to AAA, can be used later as a trade-bait, etc. M’s may not really know where his best position will be yet…maybe as a utility guy in a year or so?!

            What the M’s do need is for the young kids to step up… Our trade interests/efforts to include Franklin are b/c he is a valued prospect that would bring us something valuable back we also need (SP/CF).

          • PXDX 1 year ago

            Nick Franklin threw up a 700 OPS in 412 PAs in the bigs at age 22 while playing a middle infield spot after making top 100 prospect lists the last 3 years and a top 50 spot last year. Players like him do not grow on trees. He most definitely is not a utility guy, he’s a starter. Sending him down would be pretty insulting, its not his fault his org didn’t do him right and bought in the wrong free agent to block him.

            The Mariners should have gotten Ellsbury and whoever they wanted from the SP&RP market. Cano, while a superstar, did not fit in with their long term blueprint and the fact they are dragging their feet with trading Franklin shows how in disarray their front office really is (and there’s been plenty written about that already). You gotta feel bad for Franklin.

      • Seamaholic 1 year ago

        That’s not bad.

      • themsfan 1 year ago

        What about a deal structured around Franklin and starling marte.

        • PXDX 1 year ago

          That makes no sense for Pittsburgh. Neil Walker is their 2B until 2017, they don’t need Franklin.

    • rightwingrick 1 year ago

      All those guys for Franklin? The M’s would take a deal like that in a heartbeat. Franklin won’t get that kind of return.

      • Seamaholic 1 year ago

        No, the M’s would turn that down. Gose is value-less. Cecil is good but the M’s want more than a relief pitcher.

  3. Jman1213 1 year ago

    I’m surprised the Yankees haven’t looked into getting Franklin.

    • PXDX 1 year ago

      He’s too good a player, the Yankees have no one to offer.

    • Jonathan Barlock 1 year ago

      They probably have. Trouble is that the Yankees dont really have anybody the Mariners would be interested in.

      • teagreen 1 year ago

        Gardner

        • Frank 1 year ago

          But why would you trade for him (gardner) he isn’t that good plus you are sending a guy to new york who has options and who we have control over, where as gardner is a free agent in another year

          • chris hines 1 year ago

            How is plus-plus defense in either left or center field, with a career .352 OBP, and coming off a .416 SLG season not that good?

            I get not trading him for Franklin, Gardner is a free agent at seasons end you can just wit and sign him. But you can’t just spout off he isn’t that good when he’s a very valuable player leading off and playing CF, regardless of how you feel about WAR.

          • Chris Koch 1 year ago

            a .416SLG calling Yankee Stadium home and playing in hitter friendly AL East vs. Pitcher Friendly AL West and playing home games at Seattle? You’re saying Gardner is good with an .768OPS in hitter friendly confines. That likely makes him a .685OPS with Plus Defense in a non-hitters ballpark. He become a Replacement level OF.
            Franklin on the other hand has 3WAR or higher written all over him if he can accumulate the playing time.

          • teagreen 1 year ago

            i doubt anyone would want to make a trade before getting confirmation of an extension.

      • GonzoBlogger 1 year ago

        Jesus Montero for Ichiro, with NY eating the salary. A double farewell tour.

        • rightwingrick 1 year ago

          Probably won’t happen because there would be a disagreement over who has to pay the huge transportation costs of shipping Montero to the east coast because he weighs so much.

  4. Alex 1 year ago

    I don’t understand how players allow themselves to get overweight when their job title is professional athlete. Sure, some players get a pass because they play well overweight, but Jesus Montero? C’mon man..

    • PXDX 1 year ago

      Andruw Jones should have been a certified 1st ballot HOFer, but instead he used to eat entire boxes of candy bars in one sitting and brag about his metabolism…which promptly fell off a cliff at age 30, like a regular person.

      But yeah, these are athletes will millions on the line, how could they allow themselves to not be in perfect playing condition??? Mind blowing.

    • The_Unnatural 1 year ago

      Sounds like Montero was depressed about last season and ate loads of ice cream.

  5. Tyler Claus Coners 1 year ago

    Even though he isn’t apart of the post, the Mariners should trade Justin Smoak to the Pirates. Get 2 minor players in return?

    • The_Unnatural 1 year ago

      Then they’ll be stuck with Hart and LoMo at 1B, neither of which can field to save their lives. With either Miller or Franklin(yeah right) at SS, the M’s will need a good defender to mitigate their mistakes. And in case you missed it, the M’s are going for it this year and if they trade one of their MLB players they’ll be looking for someone who can help them win now.

      • GonzoBlogger 1 year ago

        neither of which can field to save their lives.

        I highly doubt this, but I would really like to know if there is much if any defensive drop off with LoMo or Hart at 1B instead of Smoak.

      • Chris Koch 1 year ago

        Obviously Hart can field at 1b if the Mariners have put it out there they would play him in the OF….which he can’t field anymore. Hart did great at 1b for Milw in 2012 better than Prince that’s for sure.

    • GonzoBlogger 1 year ago

      “Get 2 minor players in return?”

      I highly doubt that Jack Zduriencik is looking to load up the minor league system in a trade for one of his high profile acquisitions (Smoak came over as the centerpiece of the Cliff Lee to Texas trade) or for Nick Franklin who appears the more likely trade candidate. What most observant M’s fans have been lobbying for is a healthy, proven #3 starter to be a bridge between Felix/Iwakuma and rookies Walker/Paxton, OR a centerfielder to fill the void never replaced when Franklin Gutierrez went down after 2009 for a star-stricken set of intestinal and other fluke injuries. The Mets and Marlins have surplus, young centerfielders that might make good sense in a trade.

      • Seamaholic 1 year ago

        Yeah but who’s gonna trade a starting level CF this late in the off-season? Or a SP for that matter? What they’re going to get offered is 4th outfielders and prospects. If I were them I’d turn them all down and send Franklin back down to prove he’s a SS, if he can.

        • GonzoBlogger 1 year ago

          The Mets and Marlins each have four starting quality outfielders with comparable players as possible trade targets for Franklin. But I guess that it’s 50/50 that Nick Franklin starts the year in AAA Tacoma. He’s already shown his minor league abilities at SS. He’s a great insurance policy if any of the M’s 2B/SS/3B go on the DL, though.

      • livingpaint 1 year ago

        this reminds me of something else… lee was moments away from being traded to NY for montero (as the centerpiece) at least we got a somewhat better haul for him. beaven is still here and not a complete bust. though we also got noesi (who i feel is still a stinker) for pineda.

      • wadesawko 1 year ago

        Would Have been nice if Chris Davis was the part coming back from TeXas. Jack has such a terrible trade history.

    • chris hines 1 year ago

      The Mariners should’ve just kept Smoak and never traded for LoMo in the first place, both guys are basically left handed platoon bats in switch hitting form. Except Smoak was a much better left handed bat in 2013 and actually wasn’t as bad against LHP (Sub .600 OPs vs LHP for Smoak sub .500 OPs vs LHP for LoMo).

      Smoak vs RHP .260/.361/.477
      LoMo vs RHP .261/.354/.423

      • GonzoBlogger 1 year ago

        The M’s haven’t traded Smoak. Last I heard is that Justin and his very solid glove is penciled in as the M’s starting first baseman. He, like Ackley, needs to get more consistent with his bat and stop swinging for the fences with his warning track power. LoMo will light a fire under Smoak and was acquired for young reliever Carter Capps to provide needed offensive depth for the M’s.

        • chris hines 1 year ago

          I get that they haven’t traded him but my point was why trade for a worse version of Smoak to play lousy outfield D when you have Smoak playing decent to good defense at first already? I just don’t see how shoving a bunch of 1B/DH types into a DH/1B/RF rotation is the best thing they could’ve done for the team, especially when you are probably getting poor defense from Ackley in LF and below average D from Saunders at CF.

          • GonzoBlogger 1 year ago

            “The Mariners should’ve just kept Smoak”

            When you write in past tense “should have”, you are stating that this already happened. I don’t want to play grammar police, but I assumed you didn’t realize he is still a Mariner today. I for one would really like to know how well LoMo and Hart can play 1B. It would help in determining how expendable Smoak is or isn’t for the M’s. If he doesn’t find a consistent bat this season he’s gone anyway. Smoak’s bat is a bigger concern than Saunders, who is at worst a very solid 4th outfielder, or Ackley who at worst is a solid utility player.

      • Chris Koch 1 year ago

        That is like 1 HR vs 1 Flyball caught in those numbers, way too small a sample size. The Mariners have had Smoak and watched him for seasons now, if they are trading for LoMo he must have something or things that stand out that Smoak doesn’t have. Like a high ceiling. You’re comparing LoMo’s numbers on Miami Marlins a team that built up a nice looking bunch in 2012 around him only to trade them all away, a team who sent him down in to the minors, A team destined for 100 losses last year that only Fernandez prevented. You surround a guy with loss after loss what’s really in it for him to play and practice 100% this early in his career? LoMo though is at that point now where he’s playing for Arb and FA on a new team trying to win. Can see him jumping .150 pts in his OPS this year making Smoak look like a AA player the Mariners were holding on to.

    • Alex Conn 1 year ago

      I’m not selling on Smoak just yet. In 2014, where there’s Smoak – there is fire.

    • wadesawko 1 year ago

      Gregory Polanco

  6. rightwingrick 1 year ago

    I guess the writer didn’t look at Ackley’s second half, with a .300+ batting average last year. And while “learning the outfield on the fly” is not the optimum, Ackley proved capable of that in CF the year before when Gutierrez was down (again). My impression is that the M’s think this may be a breakout year for Ackley offensively, and that they are pretty confident in his ability to improve his outfield defense. My prediction for the outfield: Ackley, LF; Michael Saunders, CF; Corey Hart, RF.

    • Jonathan Barlock 1 year ago

      I think thats a good prediction of the outfield. I kinda want to see more of Almonte and Romero to come up (if he does well in AAA)

    • Seamaholic 1 year ago

      If Hart’s knees are OK, this is fine. However, Hart’s knees are not OK.

      • GonzoBlogger 1 year ago

        “Hart’s knees are not OK.”

        Thanks for the news. So you are the team doctor for the M’s? You’ve seen evidence at Spring Training giving you the insight to state so unequivocally that Corey Hart will never play Right Field this season?

  7. harmony55 1 year ago

    Dustin Ackley’s MLB career has been disappointing so far but the Mariners aren’t prepared to kick the 25-year-old to the curb ala Mike Carp (who was far less touted).
    Seattle will see whether Ackley can build on his strong second half last season when he outperformed fellow centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury at the plate with these lines:
    Ackley 208 PA, .304/.374/.435/.809
    Ellsbury 217 PA, .285/.330/.435/.765
    Small samples, but enough for the Mariners (and perhaps other teams) to maintain interest.

    • GonzoBlogger 1 year ago

      Mike Carp was out of options, marginal at best in LF, blocked by Justin Smoak at 1B, and coming off separate injuries the year before. Good kid with great effort, but coming off the bench for Boston to face RHP was a better fit for him. He was given many chances with the M’s and was hardly kicked to the curb. I wonder if he’ll make the 25 man roster with Boston with Grady Sizemore coming in on a rehab rider. He’d better watch out that he doesn’t trip on those Beantown curbs.

  8. mas419 1 year ago

    It’s pretty uncommon to hear a GM bluntly bash one of their own players like that, but it’s Montero and he deserves it.

  9. kungfucampby 1 year ago

    Jack Z should have been fired three seasons ago.

  10. David Ross Jr. 1 year ago

    Smoak to Pitt for Wandy-Rod or J.Locke plus reliever/prospect!

  11. Alex Conn 1 year ago

    I absolutely love the Baker deal.

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