Seattle Times beat writer Ryan Divish cites a source close to the situation in saying that there is a “small chance but definitely a chance” that the Mariners deal Kyle Seager this offseason (link). Any time a club does anything short of unequivocally ruling out a player as “untouchable”, it means a trade is a possibility — not as if we would be inclined to believe that anyone on the Mariners roster is untouchable from the unsentimental hand of GM Jerry Dipoto, least of all a well-compensated, past-30 player like Seager. We heard this week that multiple clubs were in on the third sacker, although his $15MM club option for 2022 would convert to a player option if he’s traded. Seager could be open to amending that clause, perhaps in an effort to play for a contending team in 2020, but Seattle vet is still due $37MM over the next two seasons. Seager launched 23 home runs in Seattle’s difficult hitting environment last year while slashing .239/.321/.468 (110 wRC+), which is generally in line with career averages for the 32-year-old.
More notes from around the AL…
- Orioles GM Mike Elias said on Saturday that the club likes the collegiate pitching at the top of the 2020 first-year player draft, as reported by Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports (link). Of course, Baltimore has the second-overall pick in that draft, so the club has a realistic shot at landing their choice of arms among Emerson Hancock (Georgia), Asa Lacy (Texas A&M), Cole Wilcox (Georgia), or Reid Detmers (Louisville). Arizona State’s Spencer Torkelson is widely believed to be the top player available in next year’s draft, but the Tigers will have the first crack at his burly bat.
- Elias doesn’t sound overly stressed about the team’s remaining commitment to embattled slugger Chris Davis, saying in a fan Q&A–with Zachary Silver of MLB.com present–that the team will “work with [Davis] throughout the season“. While that doesn’t give an exact plan in regard to the team’s on-field usage of Davis moving forward, it certainly feels like a further reduction in playing time could be in the works. Davis got into just 105 games last season, logging a second consecutive season well below the Mendoza line (.179/.276/.326 overall). For what it’s worth, Elias also said that he doesn’t take Davis’ remaining three years “lightly” and that Davis remains an asset to the Orioles’ fan community.
- Sports Management Worldwide is, according to its website, a sports agency and private for-profit sports management training institution based in Portland, Oregon; it was also the recent site of instruction for new Royals manager Mike Matheny, as profiled in a piece by Joe Lemire of Sport Techie. Matheny was often criticized for his strategic management during his time as skipper for the Cardinals, so this summer saw him buff up on his analytics via an SMM course primarily catered toward individuals “trying to break into the sports industry or boost themselves beyond an entry-level job”. The courses taken this summer are said to have covered nearly all aspects of the use of data in baseball, including arbitration forecasts, defensive valuations, and in-game preparation. “How can I stay relevant? How can I see what’s next? How can I provide our players any kind of edge to what’s on the horizon?” Matheny said in reference to his motivation for taking SMM courses. “We’re in a new era in baseball. Players are understanding the data and the information more. They’re hungrier for it than ever before and more open to it than ever before.” While some will snark at Matheny’s educational endeavor, it seems laudable that the 49-year-old Matheny–a man of no small professional accomplishment–would take pains to ensure that he’s adapting to a world increasingly impacted by data and evolving technologies.