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Mariners Moose Tracks, 12/30/20: Yu Darvish, ZiPS projections, Farewell Greg Johns, three-team trade nostalgia

[extremely Le Miz voice] One! day! more!

World Baseball Classic - Japan vs. USA
this was 2009! simpler times.
Photo by Christophe Elise/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images

Hello from the middle of that weird liminal space that exists between Christmas and New Year’s. I hope everyone is taking this time to build their effigies of 2020 to be burnt on New Year’s Eve. Remember, proper structural engineering when building a bonfire to rival Guy Fawkes Day is key, don’t be afraid to enlist a local dad or three in the operation.

On to the links!

In Mariners news:

  • Since I know you were worried, rest assured: RHP Jimmy Yacabonis will be back in a Mariners (or at least Rainiers) uniform this spring. You’ll remember Jimmy Yaks as the pitcher who served up the would-be grand slam that Kyle Lewis robbed, that became an iconic image for both Lewis as a Mariner and as the future ROY. Wasn’t that nice of him?
  • Read the first of four pieces on the Tacoma Rainiers Year in Review, featuring quotes from Jarred Kelenic about what it was like to be at Spring Training during the shutdown, on the Rainiers blog.
  • The podcast Mound Talk is doing a giveaway of signed cards from Mariners power relief prospect Travis Kuhn. You can listen to Kuhn talk pitching on the most recent pod here, and head over to Instagram to enter to win a signed card here.
  • Speaking of podcasts, you can hear from Taylor Trammell on the Balk Talk podcast here. (Tim said that’s all I can say about it because he’s mad at Taylor for saying Mean Things Online about Notre Dame.)
  • Mariners prospect Luis Liberato was picked by the Águilas Cibaenas in yesterday’s LIDOM re-draft. The LIDOM re-draft allows teams moving on to the post-season to draft a certain number of players off the rosters of eliminated teams, and is something I wish MLB would at least try adopting.
  • After 40+ years, Greg Johns, the Mariners beat writer, is retiring. Read his farewell column here. Congratulations on a great career, Greg, and thanks for all the stories.

Around the league:

  • The Twins signed former Angel Hansel Robles, infuriating staff writer Mikey, who wanted him as a Mariner, but delighting me, as I’m curious to see what Minnesota’s pitching development can do with H-Robble.
  • Speaking of former Angels, J.C. Ramirez will be taking his talents overseas.
  • Also taking his talents to Japan: former Mariner slugger Justin Smoak.
  • ‘Tis the season for ex-MLBers to head overseas, I guess:
  • None of these moves are particularly exciting, but they’re moves, which is more than we can say for the Mariners:
  • And hey, at least the Mariners are doing better than the Cubs, who according to the latest headline at FanGraphs, have “given up.”
  • As mentioned above, the Darvish deal (along with the Snell deal) was officially announced yesterday, with Yu and his personal catcher Victor Caratini headed to San Diego. I choose to read this tweet from Yu Darvish as a touching tribute to Caratini, although of course Cubs fans made it all about themselves.
  • The Rays, Phillies, and Dodgers swung a minor three-way deal. Three-team trades, Jerry! Remember how much you used to love those?

Kate’s pick:

I hope you have all enjoyed my writing over the years. Sadly I will no longer be able to continue as I have been utterly destroyed, wrecked and ruined, and sent shuffling off this moral coil by these photos of widowed penguins comforting each other.