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Mariners Moose Tracks, 12/27/16: Pitching Summit, Drew Smyly, and Underhanded Free Throws

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To help you get through the dog days of the winter.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Hello everyone! Yesterday, as usual, was a mighty slow news day in Seattle baseball. However, there was an interesting tidbit to come out of Greg Johns’ latest inbox, where he discussed the M’s upcoming hitting and pitching summits in January.

The hitting summit — a three-day “camp” of sorts where top Mariners prospects work with coaches privately on their swings — was a noted success from last year. So much so that the team decided to scrap instructional leagues in order to hone in on the hitting summit.

The “pitching summit” will be new this year. Here’s what Johns had to say about it:

“The idea is to get four solid days of instruction for most of the team's top young players and Minor League prospects with manager Scott Servais and the Major and Minor League coaching staffs, so the players know exactly what they should be working on heading into Spring Training and beyond. Whether this turns into an annual event remains to be seen, but the club certainly felt it went well last year and helped set a tone that carried through the organization.”

It’ll be neat to see how they address the pitching summit and to see what prospects they send to the event. It’s sort of like a pre-Spring Training for fans, so I’m certainly excited to see what members of the organization say about it this year.

Now let’s take a look at the rest of the news.

In Mariners news...

  • Mariners marketing guru Kevin Martinez posed an interesting question, which you are welcome to discuss in the comments.
  • The Mariners agreed to a minor league deal with outfielder Kyle Waldrop. He adds solid minor league depth to the outfield, a position that is suddenly becoming a surplus for the organization.
  • The M’s search for a starting pitcher during the Winter Meetings did in fact lead to discussions with the Rays about Drew Smyly, according to Ryan Divish.

Around the league...

  • Danny Valencia and former Mariner farmhand Ty Kelly are among a group of MLB players who are going to visit Israel in advance of the World Baseball Classic.
  • The Rockies have agreed to a deal with utilityman Alexi Amarista. The dude is basically a younger version of Willie Bloomquist with no power, or a less fun Shawn O’Malley.

Anders’ picks...

  • The underhanded free throw is alive and well in the NBA.
  • Former University of Washington standout Terrance Ross made a sweet dunk against Portland last night.