MLB’s annual Winter Meetings kicked off yesterday in Las Vegas. There was lots of talking and a few rumors, but little wheeling and dealing. They’re in Vegas all week and you don’t want to blow all your money on the first day, so more action will be coming our way.
On to the news!
In Mariners news...
- The Mariners are yours for at least another 25 years. Congratulations!(?)
Public Facilities District (PFD) board and Mariners reach final agreement on new 25-year stadium lease. That opens door for new naming rights sponsor to be named soon as Safeco deal expires on Dec. 31.— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) December 11, 2018
Of course, the deal is not without controversy.
- Jerry Dipoto is in Las Vegas talking about doing Jerry Dipoto things:
M's aren't going to do something crazy to move Seager. In addition to Santana and Leake, have also heard they are shopping Healy. https://t.co/ql4y32xwUa— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) December 10, 2018
Dipoto said they'll look to bring in a veteran shortstop to spring training that can serve as a stopgap if JP Crawford doesn't make the opening day roster.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) December 11, 2018
Dipoto says Mariners would like to pursue a Rule 5 Draft addition this year, though notes drafting 19th might preclude getting player they want. Says trading up could be a possibility "because we do think this is a pretty talented Rule 5 class, especially some of the pitchers."— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) December 11, 2018
Lobaton gets $1m in majors. https://t.co/KgVx5DmgdO— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) December 10, 2018
- Dipoto did confirm the Mariners are interested in Japanese free-agent pitcher Yusei Kikuchi.
- The Bartender, Tom Wilhelmsen, decides to hang it up:
View this post on Instagram
Thank you to all the fans who supported me throughout my career. It was an absolute honor to play in front of you and compete with and against the very best in the world over the past 8 years. Seattle, you will always be in our hearts. Turn Down For What?! I couldn’t be happier to announce my retirement from baseball and enjoy my true passion, being a husband and a father. Thank you all so so much. Cheers - The Bartender
- Manny Acta has stayed busy:
Sources: Orioles 6th managerial candidate is Manny Acta, former Nationals/Indians manager— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 10, 2018
Around the league...
Yankees President Randy Levine is among the names being mentioned for White House Chief of Staff, per @MSNBC— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) December 10, 2018
- The Ringer takes a look at trading prospects and decides to pick on the Mariners.
- The Rays are making a run at Nelson Cruz:
#Rays have maintained "running dialogue" and discussed some parameters with free-agent DH Nelson Cruz. Agent Bryce Dixon says Cruz very much interested, calls it "a perfect fit.'' BUT ... Cruz has 3-4 other teams interested, #Rays looking at other options besides a DH-only bat.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) December 11, 2018
- The Mets are involved in more trade rumors:
#Mets have discussed trade in which they would land J.T. Realmuto in three-team deal with #Yankees and #Marlins, sources tell The Athletic. Not known if Syndergaard involved. NYM would not part with Syndergaard (three years control) if getting only Realmuto (two years) in return.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2018
- The Phillies have the same offseason plan I do, I see:
Gabe Kapler said he wants the Phillies to build physical and emotional armor this offseason.— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) December 10, 2018
- The Royals have nearly completed signing OF Billy Hamilton to a one-year deal.
- The Tigers signed RHP Tyson Ross to a one-year deal.
- The Blue Jays are supporting girl’s baseball in Canada:
Big news! #CanadianGirlsBaseball is now partnered with Jays Care Foundation! This partnership will enhance the strength, value, and accessibility of our league for players, coaches, and families across Canada. Thanks, Jays Care - we‘re SO happy to begin this journey together! pic.twitter.com/KDO9DFv0xS— CanadianGirlsBaseball (@CGBLeague) December 10, 2018
- Prior to the Winter Meetings officially kicking off yesterday, Major League Baseball put on an event called ‘Take the Field’ designed to offer assistance to women trying to break into an industry that often requires baseball playing experience.
I don’t know why you’re here if it’s not for gymnastics news. Finally, I get to the good stuff! NCAA teams have been putting on their pre-season exhibition meets and reigning National Champion UCLA’s Meet the Bruins did not disappoint.
The highlight was Seattle’s own Katelyn Ohashi performing her fantastic Michael Jackson floor routine. She had one tiny change from last year. The double layout on her first pass is now a split leg double layout and I might have squealed a bit (a lot) when I saw it yesterday:
You can catch the champs in Seattle on February 10th when they face the University of Washington Huskies, coming off their second straight season qualifying to Nationals.