Mike Sweeney isn't going to make this team. Mike Sweeney isn't going to make this team unless something goes horribly wrong, anyway, like Ken Griffey Jr. becoming paralyzed or dying, literally dying. And I hope Griffey doesn't die, for two reasons now. There's just no room for a positionless bat on a team that already has one of those and demands at least some degree of versatility from everyone else.
There's a reason Zduriencik approached Sweeney about a coaching job first. Everybody with the team loves Mike Sweeney the person, and loves having him around, but Mike Sweeney the player doesn't fit. Yet Mike Sweeney the player wants to keep trying because Mike Sweeney the player feels like he still has something left, so the M's are going to let him take his cuts. Just make no mistake: Sweeney in ST won't be auditioning for the Mariners. He'll be auditioning for someone else. Anyone else.
But who? Sweeney says he either wants to play for Seattle or someone close to home in San Diego. It won't be an easy fit.
Seattle: bench is full, already have Griffey
San Diego: prefers Matt Stairs' left-handedness
Los Angeles: prefers Doug Mientkiewicz's left-handedness
LAnaheim: would be competing with more versatile Robb Quinlan and Freddy Sandoval
Arizona: unclear what they want from final bench spot, but they would want that guy to be able to play a little defense
It's not impossible that Sweeney could end up with a big league job come April, but his odds are long, and he knows it. Still, he wants to exhaust every last opportunity before calling it quits, and given that the M's owe him for everything he did a year ago, this is a good gesture. Zduriencik may not be Bavasi when it comes to making sure as many players as possible find a happy home, but he's going to try to help Sweeney, because Sweeney deserves it.
Please no more hugging jokes.