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News » Seattle Mariners Notes, Quotes 2008-12-22

Seattle Mariners Notes, Quotes 2008-12-22

Seattle Mariners Notes, Quotes 2008-12-22
--C Jamie Burke wasn't tendered a contract by the Mariners, but Seattle may bring him back if he doesn't land a job elsewhere in the big leagues. With two men, C Kenji Johjima and C Jeff Clement, figuring to be in the lineup most of the time in 2009 at the same time, the Mariners may once again need to carry three catchers just to be covered.

--RHP Aaron Heilman doesn't know exactly what the plans for him are after coming over in the 12-player, three-team trade made during the winter meetings, but he'd like to start. He has spent almost all of the last four years in the bullpen, and there is consideration of his being the closer in Seattle as well as talk of him being in the rotation. "I always wanted to get back to being a starter, and that certainly never changed," Heilman said. "Seattle will be a great opportunity."

--UT Willie Bloomquist is technically on the Mariners' radar, but the first-time free agent doesn't think at this point that the team wants him back. The club has talked to his agent, Scott Boras, but has not made an offer. "I'm not expecting to go back to Seattle," Bloomquist said. "I'm not holding my breath. I enjoyed my time in Seattle and, who knows? I could wind up there."

--SS Yuniesky Betancourt is working out three times a week with former Seattle LF Raul Ibanez in the Miami area this offseason. His goal is to be in the best shape of his career entering 2009.

--RF Ichiro Suzuki and C Kenji Johjima are on the provisional list for Team Japan in the World Baseball Classic. Because of that, Ichiro and Johjima won't report to spring training until after Team Japan's final game in the WBC.

BY THE NUMBERS: 5 -- Consecutive springs the Mariners will take a sojourn to Las Vegas during spring training. The Mariners will play the Rockies the final weekend of the spring before opening the season in Minnesota.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Maybe for Kenji, it'll be a kick-start for him for the season." -- Manager Don Wakamatsu on C Kenji Johjima's participation in the World Baseball Classic.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: December 22, 2008

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