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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Mariners Newsbeat

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mariners GM Dipoto: Cano happy in Seattle |

It’s a good thing he feels this way because he’s not going anywhere. Ever.

“He reached out to let me know that did not come from Robbie and that’s not at all reflective of how he felt,” said Dipoto, who replaced former GM Jack Zduriencik two months ago. “Shortly after the season ended, I sat down with Robinson in my office for two hours and we had a great talk and I think we left with a very clear understanding of who one another might be.

“Since the season ended, we’ve had a couple phone conversations and texted back and forth on a couple occasions. I don’t have any reason to believe he has a problem. He has not expressed that to me. As we’re moving forward, we believe he’s going to have a strong season as our second baseman.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2015 at 11:50 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, robinson cano

Mariners sign free-agent catcher Chris Iannetta to one-year deal | The News Tribune

In signing free-agent catcher Chris Iannetta to a one-year deal Monday, the Mariners didn’t make the move in order to acquire a caddy for one-time franchise cornerstone Mike Zunino.

“Chris is being brought in to be our primary catcher,” general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “We’ll see where the chips falls once we get into spring and beyond. He’s an experienced player who I feel makes us better.”

So where does that leave Zunino, a former first-round pick who spent two-plus years as the club’s starting catcher before getting a late August demotion to the minors?

“Mike comes in with an opportunity to win playing time,” Dipoto said. “A primary catcher is different from what I would consider an everyday player. There is no catcher who is going to go out and catch 162 games.

“Whether it be a time-share or a backup catcher, Mike is going to be in position to win some of that playing time. He’s still a young guy, and we need to get him back on track.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 24, 2015 at 06:46 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: chris iannetta, mariners

Monday, November 23, 2015

Robinson Cano reportedly unhappy in Seattle, would like to go back to New York

Last week Andy Van Slyke made the news for, among other things, ripping Robinson Cano in a radio interview, claiming that he was lazy, loafed and ended up getting coaches fired in Seattle. There has been a ton of criticism of Van Slyke for saying that, and today John Harper in the Daily News offers several quotes from the Mariners’ former third base coach, Rich Donnelly, defending Cano and his work ethic.

Buried deep in that story, however, is this bit:

So maybe Van Slyke is just so bitter about being fired that he needed someone to blame. But even if Cano has had the best intentions as a Mariner, one long-time friend who spoke to him recently says the second baseman is not happy in Seattle, especially with a new regime in charge there now, and that he’d love to somehow find his way back to New York.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 23, 2015 at 11:43 AM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, robinson cano, yankees

Friday, November 20, 2015

Ex-Mariners coach slams Robinson Cano | The Seattle Times

Worst defensive second baseman ever. That’s a tough one to backtrack on.

Host: “So what happened there, so much promise for your club after you and Lloyd McClendon joined two years ago. What happened last year?”

Van Slyke: “Well our bullpen blew up. Fernando Rodney was horrible. He blew nine of the first 18 chances. Your highest paid, supposedly best player – I mean Robbie’s not a bad guy, let me say that before I say anything bad about how he played. But Robinson Cano was the single worst third-place, every-day player I’ve ever seen – I’ve ever seen for the first half of a baseball season. He couldn’t drive home Miss Daisy if he tried. He couldn’t get a hit when it mattered. He played the worst defense I’ve ever seen at second base. I mean I’m talking about the worst defensive second baseman ever – I’ve ever seen in 20 years in the big leagues. He couldn’t catch the ball. No, I take that back. Any ball that was hit to him was an out. Any ball that he had a chance to turn a double play, he’s still maybe the best in the game today. He’s got a great arm. But I’m telling you, Frank: Robinson Cano cost the GM his job. The hitting coach got fired because of Cano. And the manager and the coaches got fired because of Cano. That’s how much impact he has on the organization. He was the worst player and it cost people their jobs in the process.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 20, 2015 at 10:05 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: andy van slyke, interviews, mariners

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Newberg: The varying degree of cutting ties. -

Tom Wilhelmsen is not a Jerry Dipoto trophy.  He was an asset for a new General Manager to evaluate, to decide whether his greatest value to the club was in the bullpen or in a trade.  Rumored for weeks to be hunting for a center fielder (such as Brett Gardner, Peter Bourjos, Jon Jay, or Martin, according to Fox Sports columnist Ken Rosenthal earlier this month), Dipoto clearly decided that adding Benoit (on Thursday) would facilitate flipping Wilhelmsen for that center field addition.

Just a week ago an NL club executive explained to Joel Sherman (New York Post), in the context of this wave of GM changes around the league: “What happens is that when you have new people, they do not view the talent left behind like the old people did.  When you draft and develop a player, you tend to have a higher opinion and affinity for the player than someone outside the organization.  The new person doesn’t have the same ties and is more willing to trade them.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2015 at 06:14 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, jerry dipoto, mariners, rangers

Monday, November 16, 2015

Mariners get Leonys Martin for Tom Wilhelmsen |

The rapid evolution of the Mariners’ roster under new general manager Jerry Dipoto continued Monday as the club acquired center fielder Leonys Martin and right-handed reliever Anthony Bass from the Rangers in exchange for part-time closer Tom Wilhelmsen, outfielder James Jones and a player to be named.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 16, 2015 at 07:26 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, rangers

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Joaquin Benoit traded from Padres to Mariners |

A Mariners bullpen that sported the sixth-worst ERA in the Major Leagues last season received a major boost on Thursday, when veteran right-hander Joaquin Benoit was acquired from the Padres for a pair of low-level Minor Leaguers.

In exchange, new general manager Jerry Dipoto parted ways with starter Enyel De Los Santos and infielder Nelson Ward.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 12, 2015 at 04:41 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, padres, trades

Jerry Dipoto on the Mariners’ New Direction | FanGraphs Baseball

Good stuff. It’s worth your time.

DiPoto on the organization’s change of philosophy: “The philosophy I’m bringing over here is pretty different. I respect Jack Zduriencik – he’s had a wonderful baseball career and I’m sure he’ll continue to have one – but we’ll do things differently than he did. We see things through a different lens. I’m not going to tell you exactly how, because then it’s no longer an advantage, but it is significantly different. Regarding (the Angels), it would be fair to say that this is a different environment for me.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 12, 2015 at 09:41 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: jerry dipoto, mariners

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Yankees, Mariners have engaged in talks about Brett Gardner | New York Post

No trade discussions were characterized as far along or specifically targeted to just one team. Nevertheless, Gardner has long been a player whom new Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto has liked going back to his time as an executive with the Diamondbacks and Angels. The Mariners, in fact, as part of the six-player trade done last week with Tampa, obtained center field prospect Boog Powell, who is commonly compared to Gardner in projecting his future.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 11, 2015 at 07:08 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, trade rumors, yankees

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Will Dipoto continue his dealing this week at the GM Meetings? | The News Tribune

Having already pulled off the off-season’s first major trade, Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is now in a setting that he believes facilitates deal-making.

The general managers are holding their annual meetings this week in Boca Raton, Fla.

“To me, the market is always moving,” Dipoto said. “The general managers’ meetings, years ago, used to be where everything got set up for the Winter Meetings.

“Now, quite frankly, the general managers’ meetings are where we generally culminate, or bring to fruition, a lot of the conversations that we’ve been having since the season ended.”

The Mariners completed a six-player deal last Thursday with Tampa Bay that netted right-handed pitcher Nathan Karns, lefty reliever C.J. Riefenhauser and minor-league outfielder Boog Powell.

In return, the Mariners sent shortstop Brad Miller, first baseman Logan Morrison and righty reliever Danny Farquhar to the Rays.

One day later, the Mariners acquired outfielder Daniel Robertson, a defensive specialist, in a waiver claim from the Los Angeles Angels.

“When you get the opportunity to make trades that fit,” Dipoto said, “you make them.”

More opportunities figure to be available this week in Boca Raton.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2015 at 11:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: gm meetings, jerry dipoto, mariners

Friday, November 06, 2015

Rays and Mariners Get Hot Stove Fired Up Early | FanGraphs Baseball

Dave Cameron talks about the deal. I bet Karns ends up in Seattle’s pen.

Edit: Baseball America’s breakdown.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 06, 2015 at 06:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brad miller, logan morrison, mariners, nate karns, rays, trades

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Mariners Make Six-Player Trade with Rays.

Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced today that Seattle has completed a six-player trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. Seattle has acquired right-handed pitcher Nathan Karns, left-handed pitcher C.J. Riefenhauser and minor league outfielder Boog Powell in exchange for first baseman Logan Morrison, infielder/outfielder Brad Miller and right-handed pitcher Danny Farquhar.

LoMo is a spare part and Farquhar is less than that, but I can’t help but feel like Miller has value. Can anybody shed light on the Rays players in this trade? I assume that this is not the 74-year-old Boog Powell.

Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: November 05, 2015 at 10:16 PM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, rays, transactions

Friday, October 23, 2015

Mariners promote Allison to oversee all scouting operations | The News Tribune

Changes in Seattle continue, including a new manager.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 23, 2015 at 10:05 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, scott servais

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Jason Varitek interviewed for vacant Seattle Mariners manager job -

If I were a GM, I would find it incredibly difficult to hire a manager who has no managing experience or coaching experience.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2015 at 02:23 PM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: jason varitek, managers, mariners

Friday, October 09, 2015

Mariners reportedly dismiss Lloyd McClendon |

The purge in Seattle continues.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 09, 2015 at 12:04 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: lloyd mcclendon, managers, mariners

Lloyd McClendon will not return as Mariners’ manager

Lloyd McClendon won’t return as manager for the 2016 season, according to sources.

McClendon moves on after compiling records of 87-75 in 2014 and 76-86 in 2015. His first season as manager produced the Mariners’ first winning season since 2009. But this season’s team began with lofty playoff expectations and the Mariners never met them, struggling to play with any consistency. When general manager Jack Zduriencik, the man who hired him, was fired Aug. 28, McClendon’s future became tenuous.

McClendon is under contract for 2016, but Dipoto was given the autonomy by team president Kevin Mather and CEO Howard Lincoln to determine whether to keep McClendon or move on with a his own manager to begin his regime.

There are currently no African-American managers in baseball.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 09, 2015 at 11:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: lloyd mcclendon, managerial firings, mariners

Thursday, October 01, 2015

More comments from new Mariners’ general manager Jerry Dipoto on team needs, free agency vs. trades, tailoring a team to Safeco Field | The Seattle Times

Some good stuff here.

On playing in the same division as his former team, the Angels?

“I’m obviously very competitive. I care a lot about the players in that clubhouse, a lot of the people that make up that team. I spent four years of blood, sweat and tears helping to put it together. Now, like they will with me on this side, I’d like to go beat them. That makes them one of 28 others I’d like to go beat.”

I learned this from Kirk Gibson, who I worked with in Arizona. We were going in to play the Mets. The Mets were my childhood team, we were flying in, and it was my first time as a GM. I said to Gibby, this one would be special. I would very much look forward to beating these guys. He said, ‘Oh, it would be special, and just so you know, I want to beat them all.’  That’s my answer to that question. As much as I care about the people with the Angels, I would like to beat them. As I’m sure they’d like to beat me.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 01, 2015 at 06:44 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, jerry dipoto, mariners

Monday, September 28, 2015

Jerry Dipoto named Mariners general manager |

An upgrade in Seattle.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 28, 2015 at 05:33 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, jerry dipoto, mariners

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Mariners notebook: Felix Hernandez expects to make his next start on schedule | The News Tribune

The final word on whether Mariners ace Felix Hernandez will make his next start on schedule will hinge on how his elbow feels after playing catch on Wednesday.

But Hernandez still harbors no doubt he’ll stay on schedule. He had no problems Tuesday in playing catch and foresees nothing preventing him from starting Friday against the Angels in Anaheim.

“It ain’t happening,” he said dismissively.

Hernandez exited Sunday’s 9-2 victory at Texas as a precaution in the sixth inning because of stiffness in his elbow. He said afterward that it’s “not a big deal,” and that he would “be throwing my next start.”

Still, this is King Felix, so manager Lloyd McClendon remains cautious.

“As we speak, yes, he is (scheduled to pitch Friday),” McClendon said. “He’ll do his normal routine. He will throw. If he’s ready to go, he’ll go. If he’s not, then he won’t go.”

If healthy, Hernandez projects to get two more starts as he pursues several personal milestones: Friday at Anaheim and Sept. 30 vs. Houston at Safeco Field.

At 18-7, the right-hander needs one victory to match his previous career high, set in 2009, and two to become the Mariners’ first 20-game winner since Jamie Moyer won 21 in 2003.

Hernandez also needs 4 1/3 more innings for his seventh consecutive 200-inning season and 15 strikeouts to reach 200 for a sixth consecutive season.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 23, 2015 at 09:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: felix hernandez, mariners

Friday, September 18, 2015

Rival major league scouts sound off on the state of Seattle’s Mariners | The News Tribune

Not very complimentary.

Is there a viable in-house partner for catcher Mike Zunino?

“Is that a serious question?” one scout asked. “If they had a truly legit guy anywhere in the system, they’d have sent Zunino to the minors in May.”

From another: “They had that guy in (Welington) Castillo, and they traded him (to Arizona). Now, I’m a (Mark) Trumbo guy. I’d rather have Trumbo (than Castillo) unless I really needed a catcher. They really need a catcher.”

From a third: “They really did that kid (Zunino) a disservice by rushing him to the majors. I understand why they did it. They didn’t have anyone else. Still don’t. For their sake, you hope they didn’t wreck him.”

Read more here:

Jim Furtado Posted: September 18, 2015 at 09:45 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Biggest offseason questions |

Dan O’Dowd asks some tough questions.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 17, 2015 at 02:05 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dodgers, free agency, giants, mariners, mets, orioles, white sox

Monday, September 14, 2015

Red Sox? Phillies? Ranking MLB’s 5 GM openings | New York Post

Working for Samson and Loria is a situation covered with warts.

Recently, I was speaking to a well-regarded executive who one day would like to be a general manager about the possibility that the Marlins job might open.

Essentially the discussion boiled down to this: There are just 30 of these jobs, yet would you abstain from, say, even being considered to run the Marlins’ baseball operations — due to the firing, tempestuous, meddling, low-payroll nature of owner Jeffrey Loria and team president David Samson?

The executive acknowledged the problems and said perhaps there were jobs not worth having. But the official also said, “There is no perfect job. If you wait for the perfect one, you will wait forever.

“They all have warts. They also all have positives. You have to figure out how to accentuate the positives and fix or navigate around the warts.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 14, 2015 at 06:56 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, general managers, mariners, phillies, red sox

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Pregame notes and lineups: Seattle opens a 10-day homestand | The Seattle Times

You know things aren’t going well when…

Catcher Mike Zunino will not be called up. He will instead go to Arizona and participate in the upcoming instructional league. It was always assumed that the Mariners would bring him back after the Rainiers’ season ended. But Zunino is undergoing a massive swing overhaul with hitting coach Cory Snyder under the supervision of Edgar Martinez.

Zunino will report early and then begin instructional play. The idea of reworking a swing and playing in big league games every four days just didn’t seem like a prudent idea. So Zunino will be in a non-pressure situation to make the changes.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 09, 2015 at 06:31 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, mike zunino, nelson cruz

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Saturday, August 29, 2015

With Mariners looking for a new GM, could Rangers lose Thad Levine? | | Dallas Morning News


The Seattle Mariners on Friday fired GM Jack Zduriencik, which is bad news for the Rangers on two fronts.

First, it means that the Rangers won’t be able to count on Zduriencik fielding a flawed team on an annual basis.

Second, it means that another GM’s job has opened that might be a fit for talented Thad Levine, who was Jon Daniels’ first hire when he became GM and who has been a critical, but low-key, member of the Rangers’ inner circle.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 29, 2015 at 07:46 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, mariners, rangers, thad levine

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