Good morning, y’all. For many of us, we are already over halfway through the work week, and hopefully you have some excellent plans for recreation and/or relaxation with the three-day weekend. If you do not receive Friday off this week, or that previous sentence in another way does not apply to you, my only consolation to you is that there you will have plenty to read in these links and coming here at LL today and the rest of the week.
With a lot going on this week, baseball is here to deliver entertainment and frustration as always.
In Mariners news...
- Robinson Canó had an excellent bounce-back year in all phases of his game, and was rewarded with a spot as a Gold Glove finalist, but lost to first time winner Ian Kinsler, upsetting Dustin Pedroia.
- Adrián Beltré edged out Kyle Seager and Manny Machado for his 5th career Gold Glove as well, which is especially impressive considering the 37-year-old Ranger is eight years Seager’s senior, and 13 years older than Machado. The rest of the Gold Glove winners are also included here.
- According to Jon Morosi, initially, and more widely reported later, the Mariners have some interest in veteran righty 1B/DH Mike Napoli. Napoli had a decent season in 2016, posting a 113 wRC+ and a career high 34 home runs, but did not draw a qualifying offer from Cleveland. Depending on market interest, Napoli could be a rehash of the Adam Lind experiment, which made sense at the time but just did not work out, though Napoli has more ability to succeed across platoon splits and could handle a full-time role if Dan Vogelbach struggles.
- Jerry Dipoto was interviewed by Ryan Divish and highlighted what he viewed as the biggest needs for the team this offseason, as well as the positive relationship he has with the current ownership, and the potential to increase payroll, or at least not shrink it, in 2017.
- Mariners’ minor league free agent Danny Hultzen says he is not retiring, according to Divish as well, and will look to rehab and finish his degree at the University of Virginia during 2017, and aim for a comeback in 2018.
- James Paxton took a break from preparing for his upcoming wedding on Saturday to do an AMA with r/Mariners on Reddit yesterday, and answered a bunch of questions very candidly and entertainingly about himself and the team.
- A couple days after getting into a fight with a Phillies prospect, Mariners minor leaguer Boog Powell was one of a few players ejected during a benches clearing brawl in the Dominican League on Tuesday.
Other baseball stories...
- Former Mariner and Korean Baseball Organization superstar Eric Thames is looking to break back into the MLB. The 30 year-old OF posted a .317/.425/.676 line and 40 home runs in 2016 with the NC Dinos. Thames was the KBO MVP in 2015, an award taken home by recent Mariner Dae-Ho Lee in 2010.
- Theo Epstein offered an altruistic explanation for the surprising decision to allow SP Jason Hammel to enter free agency instead of picking up his $10 million option. Corinne Landrey at Fangraphs took a closer look at what else may have been at play in the move.
- The White Sox are reportedly shopping ace Chris Sale, though they deny the move has anything to do with some of the more bizarre controversies that Sale had a role in this season, including his vicious attack on alternate jerseys and strong stance on the Adam/Drake LaRoche situation.
- On the subject of AL Central stars, while it would still be surprising, Chris Cotillo at MLB Daily Dish reports the Tigers are listening to offers on many of their veterans, including Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera.
- Mariners 1st round pick in 1998, LHP Matt Thornton, officially announced his retirement at the age of 40. The Mariners traded Thornton to the White Sox after two mediocre seasons, where he would go on to flourish as a reliever and appear in the All-Star game in 2010. He finished his career having appeared in 748 games, including a run from 2008-2010 where he was worth over 2 WAR for three years in a row as a middle/long reliever.
John’s picks for today...
- I was fortunate enough to see Sir The Baptist live in concert this summer, and actually interact with a few members of the group afterwards, and have been relentlessly promoting them ever since. If you need some gospel-influenced hip-hop to energize you a bit this morning, the Chicago-based group have a few songs easily accessible on YouTube and an album due out...soon...
Good luck with the rest of your week, be it short, long, or unfettered by the concept of time as we are societally bound, traditionally. If you have any big plans for Veterans Day weekend, or if it is something that is personally meaningful to you, I would love to hear about it in these here comments.