Seattle Mariners Notes, Quotes 2008-12-10

--INF/OF/DH Russell Branyan will get a chance to be an everyday player, an opportunity he hasn't gotten while playing in the big league leagues for a decade. Blessed with immense power but cursed by high strikeout totals and low batting averages, Branyan is in position to get the first crack at first base or DH.

--RHP Felix Hernandez had a long talk with new pitching coach Rick Adair last week. "He ran up my phone bill," Adair said, laughing. Adair doesn't know Hernandez well, but he said he expects big things from the man who pitched effectively for the Mariners even in the midst of a 101-loss Seattle season.

--RHP Carlos Silva carried too much weight when he pitched last year, his first in Seattle. As a result, he has taken to losing weight this offseason, and reports from the Mariners say that a slimmer Silva should be in evidence come spring training.

--LF Raul Ibanez has until Sunday to tell the Mariners if he'll accept their offer of salary arbitration. He's expected to decline in search of a multiple-year deal, but the Mariners would like him back after he led the club in RBI the last two seasons. As much as he likes Seattle, Ibanez, 36, wants to play for a winner, and it's not clear that the 101-loss Mariners can make him feel that he should stick around.

--UT Willie Bloomquist and INF Miguel Cairo were not offered salary arbitration. However, the Mariners have the right to continue to negotiate with them for the time being, and it is possible one of them could be with the club again in 2009.

--Ken Griffey Jr., who became a star as a Mariner, is on Seattle's free agency radar. The club has talked with his agent, Brian Goldberg, about bringing the 39-year-old outfielder back.

--Ty Van Burkleo (bench), Lee Tinsley (first base), Bruce Hines (third base), Rick Adair (pitching) and John Wetteland (bullpen) will comprise five-sixths of the Seattle coaching staff in 2009. A hitting coach has yet to be selected.

BY THE NUMBERS: 797 -- The number of career strikeouts by new Seattle 1B Russell Branyan in just 766 games.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's a bonus to be able to get two picks if we don't sign him. But foremost, we'd like to have him come back to be a player for us this year." -- GM Jack Zduriencik on LF Raul Ibanez.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 10, 2008