It’s Friday, and the Mariners still have not made a huge splash, in spite of theories from several media corners that they would. We finally brought Jason Bay into the fold, after a few years of speculation by a few blogs that we would do it in previous years, and for a price tag that won’t kill anyone if he flails next season. I was actually sort of perplexed about the deal, until I realized that I had no idea what we were paying him; but after finding out, my feathers were considerably less ruffled. I think it was just sort of a downturn after having the Mariners connected with larger, harder-hitting names, some of which have slipped away from us already. Dave had some interesting things to say about it a few days ago, which is another thing to think about. I have become quite attached to Casper Wells, and see no current need to replace him, not really. Maybe the Mariners are looking for an option in the event Wells’ injury or batting issues come back? Maybe they consider Wells some sort of puzzle piece for something bigger they’re working on that we just haven’t heard about yet? Maybe they’re bringing Bay in as a trade chip? Who knows. It’s kind of weird, but as always, I have to think they have a reason for this move.
The Red Sox snagged up Mike Napoli at the beginning of the week, which sort of makes me sad in that way that you’re sad when a player you like in general gets signed by the opposition, but not really sad, because it seems like a huge move that the Mariners wouldn’t make; and they were likely not willing to give him the same three years/ $39 million that Boston did. It would have been nice to have Naps’ bat in our lineup, certainly; but maybe the Ms want to place more responsibility on the shoulders of John Jaso and Jesus Montero. We seem always to be swimming in catchers, and while having a catcher who could hit would be kind of cool, it would appear we are looking for power from fielders. The rumor mill is still connecting the Ms with Josh Hamilton’s name, and that deal is apparently waiting to see what kind of inroads the Rangers will make in talking to Zack Greinke; or so they say. Whoever “they” is. This whole thing reaches ridiculous heights sometimes.
Two of my other favorites were also snatched up by the Red Sox and the Nationals. The Mariners were not looking at nor were they ever connected to Shane Victorino or Dan Haren, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want either of those guys in Seattle. Fortunately for me, my ideas about roster forming live in this sort of fantasy land where reality gets beat up at the front door. I think I am a little surprised at the fact that Haren got only one year with the Nats, but then I can spend some time hoping that we can grab him next year…because I have no idea what I’m doing here, I just know who I like.
The Mariners were also connected to Raul Ibanez, which is funny to me for many reasons. In my short fandom, Ibanez represents nostalgia (I know, it’s pretty sad), but realistically, I just don’t think it’s a terribly great idea. I know it would make a lot of fans pretty happy, and Ibanez has done well for himself both in Philadelphia and New York, but there had to be a reason the Ms didn’t attempt to retain him when he was here before. 2009 may have been the last really great year Ibanez had. His OPS was actually better here than it has been in all his years in both of those cities, and he is projected to be around .734 in 2013 (down from .761 in 2012). His AVG and OPB, though, are projected to go up. All in all, I guess it might be fun in the sense that Raul Ibanez is a guy I generally like, but it could backfire because lawndart (unless of course the intent is to bring him on specifically as a DH). Anyone reading this have any opinions on this particular subject?
Chris Seddon also got a deal from the SK Wyverns in Korea. This is a Wyvern. What an old British dragon has to do with Korea I have no clue, but I wish Seddon success overseas, and am jealous of his food options, and happy that he will still be playing professional ball. Seddon was never really here nor there for me, just a guy who was sometimes starting for Tacoma, sometimes sitting in the bullpen in Seattle; but he was a Mariner whose name did not begin with Milton or end with Figgins, so he’s A-OK in my book.
Lastly, the NHL lockout continues. When talk of the new arena first started happening, I was terrifically excited for everyone. Basketball fans would get their team back, hockey fans would finally get a team (with a built-in rivalry with Vancouver!), and a lot of jobs would be brought in before during and after the creation of the stadium. But this lockout is really bothersome, and I find myself annoyed at NHL, and not all that interested in this whole situation. Don’t get me wrong, when all of this is over, I will gladly go to games and do the civic pride thing, but the fact that we are knee deep in a hockey season that hasn’t even started and might not ever really takes the wind out of my sails. Then again, I still have not been to a Thunderbirds game yet this year, so what do I know?