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Seattle Mariners Roster Report 2009-02-24


Seattle Mariners Roster Report 2009-02-24
New general manager Jack Zduriencik gave the Mariners a serious facelift through trades and free agent signings. It's a new look, but the Mariners still seem to be short of contending, especially offensively. The team's defense and starting pitching seem better than a year ago, and that was the new man's plan going into the offseason.

ARRIVALS: LHP Tyler Johnson (free agent from Cardinals), 1B/DH Mike Sweeney (free agent from A's), RHP David Aardsma (trade with Red Sox), LHP Garrett Olson (trade with Cubs), SS/2B Ronny Cedeno (trade with Cubs), RHP Tyler Walker (free agent from Giants), RHP Randy Messenger (re-signed after being released), C Jamie Burke (resigned after being released), SS Reegie Corona (Rule 5 selection from Yankees), LHP Jose Lugo (Rule 5 selection from Twins, via Royals), CF Endy Chavez (trade with Mets), LHP Jason Vargas (trade with Mets), 1B Mike Carp (trade with Mets), CF Franklin Gutierrez (trade with Indians), INF Chris Shelton (minor league deal), 1B/DH Russell Branyan (free agent from Brewers), OF Ken Griffey Jr. (free agent from White Sox).

DEPARTURES: LF Raul Ibanez (free agent, signed with Phillies), INF/OF Willie Bloomquist (free agent, signed with Royals), RHP J.J. Putz (traded to Mets). RHP Sean Green (traded to Mets). CF Jeremy Reed (traded to Mets). RHP Aaron Heilman (traded to Cubs after being acquired from Mets), 2B Luis Valbuena (traded to Indians), RHP R.A. Dickey (free agent, signed with Twins), INF Miguel Cairo (free agent, signed minor league deal with Phillies).

SPRING FOCUS: Introductions -- and that might take a few days. The Mariners have 11 players on their 40-man roster who weren't in the organization last year, and they also are bringing in some minor league free agents for a look. Their biggest spring training challenge, at least at the start, will be figuring out who's who.

PROJECTED ROTATION:

1. RHP Felix Hernandez

2. LHP Erik Bedard

3. LHP Jarrod Washburn

4. RHP Carlos Silva

5. LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith

If they're all healthy -- which is a big if considering their history -- the Mariners' starters are a potentially excellent group.

PROJECTED BULLPEN:

RHP Miguel Batista

RHP Roy Corcoran

RHP Tyler Walker

RHP David Aardsma

LHP Cesar Jimenez

LHP Justin Thomas

RHP Mark Lowe

No closer is listed here because, well, who knows? The Mariners are bringing in two rejects, Walker and Aardsma, in the hope that one of them emerges.

PROJECTED LINEUP:

1. RF Ichiro Suzuki

2. SS Yuniesky Betancourt

3. 2B Jose Lopez

4. 3B Adrian Beltre

5. DH Russell Branyan/Ken Griffey Jr.

6. CF Franklin Gutierrez

7. C Jeff Clement

9. LF Wladimir Balentien

This is a total guess at the moment, which reflects all the decisions manager Don Wakamatsu must make in spring training. The bottom five spots in the order are up for grabs. Griffey also will play a lot in left field.

PROJECTED RESERVES:

OF Endy Chavez

C Kenji Johjima

INF Rony Cedeno

INF/OF Mike Morse

Like the lineup, the Mariners' bench is in a state of flux because of all the newcomers who will be at spring training.

TOP ROOKIES: RHP Shawn Kelley rocketed through the minor league system last year, starting in Class A and winding up at Class AA, where he was 3-1 with a 2.11 ERA in 29 games for West Tenn. OF Greg Halman has as much power as anyone in the system, and on a power-challenged roster like Seattle's, he could make the jump with a big spring. He had 10 homers and 30 RBIs in 61 games after promotion to Tacoma last year. OF Michael Wilson had 27 homers and 84 RBIs for Tacoma last year and could be ready to step up.

MEDICAL WATCH:

C Jeff Clement (left knee surgery in September 2008) is moving around well now and is ready for spring training.

LHP Erik Bedard (left shoulder surgery in September 2008) has nothing holding him back in 2009.

3B Adrian Beltre (left thumb surgery and left shoulder surgery in September 2008) faces a question on whether he will play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

LHP Jarrod Washburn (left abdominal muscle strain) said rest and rehab during the winter eliminated the problem.

RHP Carlos Silva (back) spent the offseason working out and losing weight and is ready to go for spring training.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 24, 2009

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