It is Thursday on the week of Winter meetings, and of course the Mariners have been mostly quiet all week long. Actually, everyone has been kind of quiet. Outside of the Tigers sending Rick Porcello to Boston for Yoenis Cespedes, nothing super major has happened in my baseball world (yes, I know that Matt Kemp moved a few miles south, but it’s all NL and I’m not inclined to be too concerned about the NL in general). Nick Markakis signed on with the Braves from Baltimore, and a lot of Orioles fans (people who are able to follow the team more closely than I am) seem OK with that change, but Markakis has always been with Baltimore, and the fact that he was there when I started being a fan and now isn’t is somewhat disorienting for me. It’s always weird when American League players go to the NL; it’s almost like they’ve died. Quite the opposite is true, of course, but I don’t follow the NL with as much voracity as the AL, so it sure does feel that way.
Current talk surrounds a move between us and the Nationals, a Brad Miller for Ian Desmond thing. Currently I have no feelings about this one way or the other. I am 99.9% sure I saw Desmond play in April when I was in DC, but he didn’t hit me one way or the other, as all my attention was focused on Stephen Strasburg that day. If this happens, it will have to be a wait and see thing for me, and I will definitely have to check out a post on Lookout Landing about it, which I cannot currently do because systems at work make LL unreadable for some reason. Maybe some day, we’ll stop using Internet Explorer here, but that day will not come soon. Everything on MLB Trade Rumors indicates that talks are still going on, so I will continue waiting. I am guessing that we are attempting to bolster hitting further. I know next to nothing about Desmond’s defensive metrics but comparing his and Miller’s batting averages and WAR for last year with what they are both projected to do in 2015 makes that move look like an improvement for us. Maybe a minor improvement (given the fact that those are such basic numbers), but an improvement nonetheless. I don’t have time to do much more in-depth examination at the moment, sadly.
Ryan Divish has an article up about Lloyd McClendon’s thoughts on the upcoming season, and some gossip over the last 24 hours that caused the Mariners FO to have to do some minor, needless damage control. Apparently Keith Law mentioned something on Twitter about the organization not being all that much into Taijuan Walker anymore, and that turned into some online speculation about why. The main point I took away from the whole thing was that there had been some behavior that Walker had engaged in that made him undesirable. This turned into talk about Walker’s early-ish exit from Fall ball, which I remember reading about when it happened, and didn’t think about further because I figured they wouldn’t let him just go home unless the FO said it was OK. At the link, you can see jack Zduriencik’s vehement denial that any such thing ever happened, and here is where I express, again, my thanks for our local media, who don’t tend to start issues where non exist. Not really sure why Law felt the need to run to social media with that “news”, but he is a senior writer for ESPN, so I can only assume that journalism is truly dead with ESPN. I like Law in general, but there was absolutely zero reason for him to do that.
I personally am still waiting to hear what Melky Cabrera’s plans might be. It’s been nearly a week, and I don’t think I have seen his name mentioned once, in connection with any other teams who might be interested, including the Mariners. Is Cabrera asking for too much money? Do the Mariners know something about him that we don’t? Do other teams know something about him that we don’t? I am likely falling behind on my news stories, but haven’t seen much on Twitter. As of three days ago, CBS Sports says we are still talking to him. Maybe the finances just have to be hammered out. Maybe they never will be! Oh, Baseball, you scamp!