Happy Valentine’s Day, and more importantly, happy birthday to ME. The Mariners gave me an early birthday present last night when it was announced James Paxton, The Big Maple, the Lefty from Ladner, Our Sad-Eyed King, will be coming home to pitch for Seattle this season. Maple Grove Hive, assemble! Grant has the writeup with the deets in case you missed it because you were doing something like “spending time with loved ones” or “watching a movie” instead of spending Valentine’s Eve stalking social media.
In Mariners news:
- Not much can overshadow the Paxton news (he’s so tall, it’s hard for him to get overshadowed), but Joel Sherman at the NY Post did rank the 50 most interesting people in baseball and a surprising Mariner made the list—Jarred Kelenic, 34th. It is the New York Post, after all.
Around the league:
- The Mariners weren’t the only team to ink a reunion with a former player. Justin Turner is headed back to the Dodgers for two years, $34M, with a club option for a third year and an $8M signing bonus.
- Jack Flaherty won his arbitration case against the Cardinals, and posted this reaction to Twitter (as well as this one):
- Mike Soroka also won his arbitration case against Atlanta, although without the Twitter meme victory lap.
- The Padres announced their Spring Training non-roster invites with a familiar face in former Mariner Parker Markel. Also invited: my wish-he-was-a-Mariner 2020 draftee Robert Hassell III, making the 19-year-old one of the youngest players invited to big league camp.
- Former Mariner Jay Bruce is headed to the Yankees on a minor-league deal.
- Matt Harvey will be joining Félix in Baltimore, per reports. It’s a minor-league deal.
- Another day, another troubling story about a female reporter in baseball facing unwelcome advances from her male co-workers. Stories like this dropping is getting to be an unpleasant regular weekend occurrence.
If you’re looking for some charitable giving for the month, Southpaws Sports is raising money for the Senators Satchel Paige Little League, a league based in DC that provides access to baseball to Black kids. The Gofundme page is here, and it would be great if you could help out.