The Major League Baseball world has converged in San Diego for the Winter Meetings, which means there are people everywhere. General Managers, Managers, scouts, agents, media, job seekers, front office members and others have taken over the Manchester Grand Hyatt as they ponder what lies ahead for this offseason.
General Manager Jack Zduriencik has already been busy talking to other teams and player agents as he looks for ways to improve the ball club and his days will last long into the evening.
Between their usual responsibilities, Jack and Manager Lloyd McClendon have taken time out of their schedules to meet with media outlets. Both Jack and Lloyd met with the MLB Network this morning/afternoon and will continue to make the rounds the rest of this week.
If you didn’t see the previous post on this blog, click here to check out Lloyd’s segment with Brian Kenny, Ron Darling and Joel Sherman on MLB Now.
And here is Jack’s segment with Chris Rose, Harold Reynolds and Kevin Millar:
Before the start of last season, the baseball family lost Baltimore Orioles Public Relations Director Monica Barlow to lung cancer. To keep her legacy alive, Major League Baseball has teamed up with Lungevity, the largest national lung cancer-focused nonprofit, to raise funds and awareness to fight this disease.
Club public relations members joined Orioles Manager Buck Showalter and Monica’s husband, Ben at a news conference to announce a charity auction that will benefit the Lungevity organization. To check out about the unique experiences that you can bid on, head over to MLB.com/Lungevity
You can read more about the auction on Greg Johns’ blog: Mariners offer unique auction items for Stand Up to Cancer fundraiser at Winter Meetings
Jack Zduriencik Meets With Seattle Media
Each day, Jack Zduriencik meets with members of the Seattle media to give them an update on what’s going on for him during the day.
Be sure to check the respective blogs to get a recap of their conversation with Jack.
It is that time of year when the Winter Meetings are in progress (in sunny San Diego) and the annual prospect rankings start to trickle in. Baseball America, one of the most respected publications for covering college, minor league and Major League Baseball, has published their annual top 10 in the Mariners organization. For the complete top 30 and detailed scouting reports on the prospects you can order their 2015 Top Prospect Handbook. Here’s a look at the Mariners top 10:
- Alex Jackson, OF
- D.J. Peterson, 3B
- Ketel Marte, SS
- Patrick Kivlehan, 3B/1B
- Austin Wilson, OF
- Edwin Diaz, RHP
- Gabby Guerrero, OF
- Luiz Gohara, LHP
- Ryan Yarbrough, LHP
- Carson Smith, RHP
His a look at the Mariners Top 10 Prospects by Baseball America dating all the way back to 1984:
Mariners broadcaster Rick Rizzs and a crew of volunteers for two dozen non-profits got to play Santa Claus for needy kids in the Puget Sound area at the annual Toys For Kids holiday shopping spree.
Carts were piled high with Legos, stuffed animals and all-things “Frozen” at the Bellevue Toys R Us. Each item will be wrapped and presented to a child who otherwise might not have a very happy holiday. This is all thanks to the efforts of Rizzs, former Mariners outfielder Dave Henderson, volunteers from the Mariners RBI Club and generous donors.
Toys For Kids was founded by Rizzs and Henderson, and a handful of Hendu’s teammates back in 1995. They raised a few thousand dollars and bought toys for around 500 children. Since then, the program has grown and this year, they raised $245,000 and will buy gifts for 8,000 kids.
The first of several distribution events is this weekend in conjunction with Harborview Medical Center. There are 22 organizations participating in the Toys For Kids program this year including Country Doctor, First Place, Atlantic Street Center, Broadview Women’s Shelter, YWCA Seattle Emergency Housing, Seattle Children’s Home and Ronald McDonald House.
Another day, another news conference at Safeco Field. Today, the Mariners introduced their newest slugger, outfielder/designated hitter Nelson Cruz. Nelson did a sit-down interview with ROOT Sports, held a news conference with the local media (and carried by Mariners.com and MLB Network) and did several interviews. Here are some highlights from the big day at Safeco Field.
Video of Introductory News Conference:
Photos courtesy of the Associated Press & Getty Images
Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik announced today the club has signed free agent outfielder / designated hitter Nelson Cruz to a 4-year contract through the 2018 season. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
“Our number one goal this off-season was to improve our offense, ideally by adding right-handed power, and with the addition of Nelson Cruz we think we’ve accomplished that goal,” Zduriencik said. “He is an impact hitter that will bat in the middle of our line-up. Nelson has a track record as a middle of the order hitter on pennant contending clubs. He will be an asset on the field and in the clubhouse. Nelson’s presence in our clubhouse and as a teammate will continue to help our club advance to the next level. We see him as an ideal fit as we strive toward our goal of winning a World Championship.”
“I am excited to join the Mariners,” Cruz said. “Watching Seattle play from the other side of the field, I know how close this team is to the post-season, and I am hopeful that I can help to get us there.”Cruz, 34, led the Majors with 40 home runs in 2014, and was third in the Majors with 108 RBI to go along with 32 doubles and 2 triples. He set new single-season career-highs in runs (87), hits (166), HR, RBI, walks (55), extra-base hits (74) and total bases (322) while tying his career-high in games played (159).
Cruz, a right-handed hitting outfielder and designated hitter, was twice named American League Player of the Week last season (weeks ending June 1 & Sept. 7). He played in his third All-Star Game, and was voted a starter for the first time, collecting over 3-million votes at DH. At the conclusion of the season, was voted the Orioles Most Valuable Player by the local Baltimore media. Cruz was also the Orioles nominee for the Hank Aaron Award.
Cruz’s 159 games played included starts in left field, right field and as the designated hitter. Baltimore was 95-64 when he started, including 36-24 when he was in left, 8-2 when he was in right and 51-38 when he was the DH.
Cruz has appeared in the postseason in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014, including in the ALCS and World Series in 2010 and 2011. He has three All-Star Game appearances (2009, 2013, 2014) and also played in a pair of World Baseball Classic’s (2009, 2013) for the Dominican Republic.
Cruz is a 10-year MLB veteran who has appeared in the Majors with Milwaukee (2005), Texas (2006-2013) and Baltimore. In his Major League career, he has appeared in 963 games, hitting a combined .268 with 203 doubles, 10 triples, 197 home runs and 597 RBI. Cruz boasts a career slugger percentage of .501 and a career OPS of .829. In every season in his career in which he has appeared in at least 100 games, Cruz has collected at least 20 home runs and 75 RBI.
Cruz is one of just seven players with 20 or more home runs in each of the past six seasons:
• Nelson Cruz
• Miguel Cabrera
• Matt Holiday
• Brian McCann
• David Ortiz
• Hunter Pence
• Mark Reynolds
Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager had a big day at Safeco Field, signing his long-term contract (through 2021 season with option for 2022) and holding a news conference with the local media. Here are some media interviews and articles on the day, as well as some photos.
- 710 ESPN Seattle – Mike Salk
- 1090 The Fan – Steve Sandmeyer & Jason Churchill
- KJR 950 AM – Dave “Softy” Mahler
- MLB Network Radio – Casey Stern & Jim Bowden
- Seattle Times – Larry Stone
- Tacoma News Tribune – Bob Dutton
- Mariners.com – Greg Johns
- 710Sports.com – Shannon Drayer
- SportsPressNW – Adam Lewis
And the video highlights from the news conference and his day at Safeco Field:
And some photos from throughout the day.
Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik announced today the club has signed third baseman Kyle Seager to a 7-year contract through the 2021 season with a club option for the 2022 season. Per club policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.
“This is a great day for the Seattle Mariners, our fans and the Seager family. As one of our homegrown players it is nice to know that he will remain with us for at least seven more seasons,” said Zduriencik. “Kyle has taken a step forward each season since joining the organization in 2009, and has turned into one of the premier third baseman in the game. He has exhibited class both on and off the field and is someone we are all extremely proud of. We are very pleased to announce this joint commitment by the Seattle Mariners and Kyle Seager as we strive toward our goal of winning a World Championship.”
Seager, 27, is coming off a career season in 2014 after batting .268 (158×590) with 27 doubles, 4 triples, 25 home runs and 96 RBI in 159 games. He was selected to play in his first All-Star game and was the American League Gold Glove® winner at third base.
“I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity that the Seattle Mariners have given me,” said Seager. “This is an amazing honor for me and my family to remain with such a great organization for the foreseeable future.”
The North Carolina native led the team in home runs (25), RBI (96) and extra-base hits (56) last season, becoming the first Mariners player since Raul Ibañez (2005-2008) to record 20 or more home runs in at least 3 consecutive seasons. Seager hit 20 homers in 2012, 22 in 2013 and 25 last season. He joins Ken Griffey Jr. and Jim Presley as the only Mariners players with 20 or more homers in three of the first four seasons of a career.
Since his first full Major League season in 2012, Seager has averaged over 30 doubles, 50 extra-base hits, 20 home runs and 80 RBI a season. During this three-year span he combined to bat .262 (472×1799) with 94 doubles, 67 home runs and 251 RBI in 474 games. Seager’s 168 extra-base hits and 251 RBI ranked 2nd-most among third baseman, and 67 home runs are tied for 4th-most over the last three seasons.
Seager has been a mainstay in the lineup and at third base appearing in 520 of the Mariners last 540 games (since 8/2/11). He ended the 2014 season appearing in 126 consecutive games, the 6th-longest active “Iron Man” streak in MLB. In 157 games at third base last season he recorded the highest fielding percentage at .981 (8 E, 422 TC), the 10th-best mark by an AL third baseman dating back to 1948.
Seager made his Major League debut as a 23-year-old on July 7, 2011. He had a rapid rise through the Mariners organization after being selected in the 3rd round of the 2009 June Draft out of the University of North Carolina. In his first full professional season with High Desert in 2010, Seager batted .345 (192×557) in 135 games and led the minor leagues in hits and runs scored (126).
Looking for that perfect Mariners present for the holidays? We’ve got you covered at any of the five Mariners Team Store locations (Safeco Field, Downtown, Bellevue Square, Southcenter, Alderwood). There are tons of holiday-themed Mariners gifts and of course tons of hats, jerseys, golf shirts and kids apparel to outfit the entire family in Mariners gear.
The Team Stores will also hold some upcoming events where you can meet some of your favorite Mariners and take advantage of special deals.
DAN WILSON & AARON GOLDSMITH AUTOGRAPH SESSION
- Meet Mariners legend Dan Wilson and broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith on Friday 12/5 from 6:00-7:30pm at the Alderwood Team Store
CHARLIE FURBUSH AUTOGRAPH SESSION
- Meet Mariners pitcher Charlie Furbush on Saturday 12/6 from 12:00-1:30pm at the Bellevue Team Store
SEASON TICKET HOLDER SHOPPING WEEKEND
- Saturday 12/6 & Saturday 12/13 from 10:00-5:00pm at the Safeco Field Team Store
- 25% off all merchandise (certain exclusions apply)
- Get a FREE Mariners Stocking ornament with any purchase
HOT STOVE SHOW LIVE REMOTE BROADCAST
- Friday 12/12 from 7:00-9:00pm at the Bellevue Team Store
- Hosts Rick Rizzs and Mike Blowers will discuss baseball’s off-season with GM Jack Zduriencik live and other guests from around the game
- Prizes will be given out throughout the evening!
MEET SANTA MOOSE!
- Bellevue Team Store – Friday 12/12 from 6:30-7:30pm
- Southcenter Team Store – Sunday 12/14 from 1:00-2:00pm
- Alderwood Team Store – Sunday 12/14 from 4:00-5:00pm
JAMES PAXTON AUTOGRAPH SESSION
- Meet Mariners pitcher James Paxton on Saturday 12/13 from 12:00-1:30pm at the Southcenter Team Store
At the end of the 2004 baseball season, Edgar Martinez announced his retirement after 18 years in the Major Leagues, all with one team – the Seattle Mariners. One of baseball’s best hitters, Edgar is once again on the 2014-2015 National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum ballot, his sixth time to appear on the ballot. Martinez has earned 36.2 percent of the vote in 2010, 32.9 in 2011, 36.5 in 2012, 35.9 in 2013 and 25.2 last year.
Edgar became the Mariners regular third baseman in 1990 at the age of 27. In his first three seasons, he proved to be a good defensive third baseman and was the 1992 AL batting champion, the first of his two league batting titles. Injuries limited him in 1993 and 1994, and manager Lou Piniella moved him to designated hitter in 1995, the position he primarily played the rest of his career.
Edgar was very simply one of the top all-around hitters of his era as well as in baseball history. He combined power (best exemplified by his slugging percentage) with the ability to reach base safely (among the best in on-base percentage), both at rates that rank high on the all-time lists of Hall of Fame hitters. From 1990 (when he became a regular) and his retirement in 2004, the Mariners posted a .512 winning percentage, and were one of just 11 MLB teams to win more than 1,200 games. The franchise had never had a winning season (1977-1989) prior to his arrival, and has had just two .500 or better seasons since he retired.
Edgar’s skills on the field were only outshone by his character off the field. In addition to being beloved by teammates and respected by opponents, Edgar was (and is) an important benefactor to his community. He moved to Seattle when he joined the Mariners and never left. Following the 2004 season he was recognized with the Roberto Clemente Award, and in 2007 he was inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame. He, and his wife, continue to give generously to the greater Seattle community through The Martinez Foundation. The foundation is primarily focused on helping to provide resources and encouragement to highly-qualified young teachers and student-teachers of color to help provide underserved populations with educational opportunities.
The Mariners organization is proud to provide for your consideration the information below which is intended to present Edgar’s outstanding career accomplishments and put them into historical perspective.