Posts Tagged ‘Jack Zduriencik’

Mariners Get Defensive, Ink Jack Wilson To Two-Year Deal

November 14, 2009

I have never met Seattle Mariners’ general manager Jack Zduriencik. As a matter of fact, if he delivered the bacon cheeseburger I ordered from the diner last night to my apartment, I wouldn’t have recognized him.

But I will tell you this–I really like the guy. I like the guy because in a sport where so many of it’s general managers don’t have a plan of attack, Zduriencik clearly does.

Jack Wilson

Wilson is a great defensive shortstop

Zduriencik is determined to build the Mariners around pitching and defense and on Friday he took another step towards executing his plan.

Yesterday, the Mariners signed shortstop Jack Wilson to a two-year deal worth $10 million. The deal cancels out the $8.4 million option Seattle had for Wilson.

The Mariners acquired Wilson from the Pittsburgh Pirates last year along with Ian Snell and Ronny Cedeno for Jeff Clement and three minor leaguers.

Wilson is one of the best defensive shortstops in the game and along with Franklin Gutierrez and Jose Lopez give the Mariners a more than solid up the middle defense.

The biggest reason the Mariners went from 61 wins in 2008 to 85 wins in 2009 was because of defense. Zduriencik replaced Raul Ibanez, Jeremy Reed, and Yuniesky Betancourt from the 2008 team with Endy Chavez, Gutierrez, and Wilson in 2009.

That is a massive upgrade defensively. I mean it’s really night and day.

Chavez is a free agent, but with Zdurienciks’ track record so far, you have to feel confident if you are a Mariners fan that he will find a replacement suitable both offensively and defensively.

I still contest the Mariners need a big bat in the middle of their lineup in order to take the next step, but they are clearly moving in the right direction.

Wilson was a good value sign by the Mariners.

Just another piece in the defensive puzzle for Zduriencik.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Seattle Mariners Get Some Good News

October 20, 2009

Let’s talk about an American League team other than the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for a second shall we?

There was a very small, but yet very big transaction yesterday for the Seattle Mariners.

According to the Seattle Mariners’ official website, catcher Kenji Johjima will opt out of the remaining two years on his contract and return to Japan. Now you might be asking yourself right now “Who cares? It’s Kenji Johjima.”

Johjima is heading back to Japan

Johjima is heading back to Japan

The reason this is such a big deal for the Mariners is because Johjima had $16 million remaining on his contract. $8 million in 2010 and $8 million in 2011.

How high do you think Mariners’ GM Jack Zduriencik jumped when he heard this news?

In the last two years, Johjima has hit just .235 with 16 HR’s and a .281 OBP. Johjima was so bad in 2009, he  was splitting time with Rob Johnson, a lifetime .205 hitter towards the end of 2009

$8 million in this down economy is the equivalent of maybe $15 million in a good economy. There is a lot of things Zduriencik can do with that money.

With Miguel Batista’s ($9 million), Adrian Beltre’s ($12 million), Erik Bedard’s ($7.75 million), and now Johjima’s contract off the books, the Mariners should be major players in the free agent market this Winter.

With a couple of right moves, the Mariners can be serious contenders in 2010.

Now if they can get Carlos Silva’s contract off the books, they will really be in business.

All contract information was supplied by Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Seattle Mariners Should Re-Sign Ken Griffey Jr, But Should Also Sign A DH

September 5, 2009

There has been a lot of talk recently that future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. wants to return to the Seattle Mariners in 2010. I for one, think this is great. Griffey has earned the right to play for as long as he wants.

The Mariners should re-sign Griffey Jr.

The Mariners should re-sign Griffey Jr.

Griffey has said repeatedly that this season has been the most fun he has had in awhile and his energy has rubbed off on teammates. He has brought leadership to the Mariner’s clubhouse and from an organizational perspective, he can still put people in the seats.

However, if the Mariners are serious about winning in 2010, then Griffey can come back, as long as he is a bench/part-time player. Going into last night’s action, Griffey is hitting .218 with 14 homeruns and 43 RBI in 325 AB’s.

He no longer should be starting for a team that plans to be in contention.

Griffey, along with Mike Sweeney have spent the majority of the year as the Mariners’ DH’s. Overall Mariners’ DH’s are 12th in the AL in batting avg. (237), 13th in RBI (58), and 13th in runs scored (55).

Current GM Jack Zduriencik has tried to build the Mariners around defense. In the past year he has brought in Endy Chavez, Franklin Gutierrez, Jack Wilson, and Bill Hall. All of whom are plus defensive players. While I appreciate that approach, at some point he has got to bring in a guy who can drive in runs.

This is where signing a DH comes into play. Zduriencik can bring in offense without sacraficing the defense.

This offseason, there are a plethora (word always reminds me of the Three Amigos) of DH-type players available on the free agent market. Jim Thome, Hideki Matsui, Hank Blalock, Aubrey Huff, Carlos Delgado, and Vladimir Guerrero all have their services available after the 2009 season.

The Mariners would be smart to sign one of them. My guess is that after Johnny Damon re-signs with the New York Yankees, Hideki Matsui ends up in a Seattle Mariners uniform.

Even though he will be 36 at the start of next season, Matsui can still hit the long ball — something the Mariners need and he would be extremely popular with the very large Asian population in Seattle.

The Mariners should re-sign Griffey, but they also need to sign a DH. They could use the offense.