Baseball Winter Meetings – Day 3

WELCOME TO SEATTLE ADAM LIND

Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto completed his ninth trade of the off-season, acquiring Adam Lind from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for a trio of teenage minor league right-handed pitchers. Lind brings power (32 doubles, 20 home runs) and on-base percentage (.360). You can see full details below in the blog, but Jerry’s thoughts on why he fits for our club were clear. “Adam lengthens our line-up as a first baseman who gives us on-base percentage and power. First base was a spot we came here looking to fill, and we feel that Adam is a good fit for us.”

MAKING THE ROUNDS

Mariners Manager Scott Servais made media rounds at the Winter Meetings today, including interviews with MLB Network, MLB Network Radio and ESPN. He also met with our local beat writers, national and international writers for a 30 minute session.

Here is part of his transcript from his media session (read the whole thing here):

Q. You’ve had a lot of turnover here in short order. What’s the biggest challenge with that many new faces and a new face of your own?

SCOTT SERVAIS: Well, they’re all new to me, that’s the first thing. Obviously, there’s been a ton of turnover in our roster. Change was coming. We talked about it early on, wanted to get a different look to our team. That’s what we focused on. Obviously, Jerry has done an awesome job trying to go out and acquire players that fit the mold he’s looking for. On the tough side, we’ve given up some very good players, guys that are going to go on and have very successful careers, and it may come back and hurt us at times. To get good players, you’ve got to give up good players. We’ve been aggressive. I don’t think people understand how hard it is to make trades. But we’re getting after it, and I don’t think Jerry is going to slow down any time soon.

Q. Scott, you mentioned the new guys. But how much contact have you had with the guys that are coming back, especially that core group of guys, Felix and Cano and Seager?

SCOTT SERVAIS: Quite a bit of contact. I’ve talked to 10 to 12 players face to face, many more on the phone, trying to get a feel — let them get a feel for me, first of all, and kind of what I’m like. More importantly, listening to them and where they’re at. Everybody is at a different point in their career, and I feel it’s important where I’m at to listen to them. That includes Mike Zunino, as well, who we consider a high end prospect who’s going to have a very successful major league career. I’ve spent a lot of time. I’ve been in Dominican talking to Nelly, I’ve talked to Robbie, Ketel Marte down there. I met with Felix and Walker. I talked to a lot of guys. I learned a lot about where they’re at, and I think they’ve learned a lot on where they’re going to go.

Q. Scott, it seems like the way managers are hired these days, it’s different from in the past. It used to be you spend a lot of time in the minors as a manager or maybe several years as a bench coach. We’ve seen more managers without previous experience get hired. As somebody who has spent time in the front office as well, why do you think this has changed?

SCOTT SERVAIS: I spent plenty of time in the minors. I don’t know if you’re aware, but that’s where I’ve been the last ten years. I have not managed in the minor leagues. I have not been a bench coach in the big leagues. And I’m not the first. Lucky for me, there’s been many guys, and I could go through the list, talking to them earlier today. Mike Matheny and Brad Ausmus, guys with different paths. Mine may be more what A.J. Hinch has gone through, just coming from the front office. I think there’s tremendous value in understanding of how to put teams together and how front offices look at that. I will use that to my benefit. The one thing I’ve not done is I have not managed a major league team, but I’ve managed people. I think, when you look at the game and how the game’s evolved, it is about managing people and creating an environment that they feel good about coming to work every day and a certain culture along with that. That’s what I think I can bring to the Mariners. Again, it’s about the players and putting them in a position to win. So, again, it’s been a different path, I’ve said it all along, that I’ve taken to get here. I feel fortunate, and I’m really excited about getting started.

MLB STAND UP TO CANCER AUCTION

For the fourth consecutive year, Major League Baseball, MLB Advanced Media, MLB Network and the 30 Clubs have organized a Winter Meetings charity auction that includes once-in-a-lifetime baseball experiences and unique items to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.  This initiative, which has raised nearly $500,000 since its inception, was inspired by the numerous employees, friends and fans of the game who have been affected by cancer. A significant portion of the proceeds will go to Stand Up To Cancer, a longtime partner of Major League Baseball, its founding donor in 2008.  In addition, this year’s auction will benefit Do It For Durrett, in honor of the late Texas Rangers ESPN.com beatwriter Richard Durrett, who passed away suddenly last year, and the YouCaring page established for Miami Marlins Sun Sentinel beatwriter Juan C. Rodriguez, who is currently battling a brain tumor.  The auction is live on MLB.com until Thursday, December 10th at 9:00 p.m. (ET).

Following are the Mariners items supporters can bid on at http://www.mlb.com/SU2Cauction:

DAILY SESSION

As he does each day at the Winter Meetings, Jerry Dipoto met with our travelling beat media this afternoon. In addition to laying out his thoughts on the Lind acquisition, Jerry talked about the position player group, mentioned his thoughts on bullpen construction, and walked through the improvements we’ve made in our line-up, specifically in our ability to get on base. Jerry also talked through the strategy of trying to get ahead of the market here by making moves early in the, rather than waiting until players we were interested had been bid up in the Winter Meetings frenzy.

Jerry's daily session with travelling media

Jerry’s daily session with travelling media.

TOMORROW’S RULE 5 PRIMER

Every year, Major League Baseball holds two player drafts. Most fans are familiar with and have a basic understanding of the First-Year Player Draft, which occurs each June and deals with amateur players in the United States and Puerto Rico. But the Rule 5 Draft, which takes place in December and concerns professional players, is often confusing. This factsheet aspires to clear up how the Rule 5 Draft works.

A team that selects a player in the Rule 5 Draft pays $50,000 to the team from which he was selected. The receiving team must then keep the player on the Major League 25-man roster for the entirety of the next season, and the selected player must remain active (not on the disabled list) for a minimum of 90 days. If the player does not remain on the Major League roster, he is offered back to the team he was selected from for $25,000. If his original team declines, the receiving team may waive the player.

Once a player is selected, he is automatically assigned to his new organization’s 40-man roster.

Players who were signed when they were 19 or older and have played in professional baseball for four years are eligible, as are players who were signed at 18 and have played in pro ball for five years. All players on a Major League Baseball team’s 40-man roster, regardless of other eligibility factors, are “protected” and ineligible for the Rule 5 Draft.

Teams draft in reverse-order of the regular season standings. Any team that does not have any vacancies on its 40-man roster may not make a selection.

There are also Triple-A and Double-A phases to the Rule 5 Draft. Players put on the Triple-A reserve list cost the selecting team $12,000, and players put on the Double-A reserve list cost the selecting team $4,000.

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