The Seattle Mariners made by far the most significant move of the MLB offseason when they signed Robinson Cano to a 10-year deal worth $240 million. While most of us can agree they overpaid for Cano, all that really matters is what Seattle does now. If they build a championship contender around Cano, it could be worth it. One way the Mariners could attempt to do that is by trading for starting pitchers like David Price.
The Tampa Bay Rays are clearly open to dealing Price, who they know they will not be able to afford when his contract expires after the 2015 season. However, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Wednesday that Price would refuse to sign a contract extension with Seattle if he was traded there.
Just saw David Price's agent, Bo McKinnis, in lobby. Asked if Price would consider extension with #Mariners. Said no. MORE
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2013
Asked McKinnis if Price would consider extensions with other teams. Said yes. Asked which clubs. He declined to answer.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2013
Rosenthal also noted that Price’s alleged unwillingness to remain with the Mariners for more than two seasons does not rule out the possibility of a trade, as they are looking to win right now. Still, it would make giving up a boatload of prospects a lot more painful.
Of course, things can change in a hurry. This is the same Price who once said he would never sign a long-term extension with the New York Yankees because of their facial hair policy, so we know he can be picky. If he is traded to Seattle and the Mariners become a contender, he could easily change his mind. The question now becomes whether the M’s are willing to take that gamble.
When many of you woke up last Friday, the sports world was flooded with reports about Jay-Z potentially costing Robinson Cano as much as $50 million by angering the Seattle Mariners. According to several sources, Cano and the Mariners had agreed to a nine-year, $225 million contract on Thursday night. Talks reportedly hit a snag when Jay-Z asked for a 10-year, $250 million contract at last minute that infuriated Seattle’s brass.
“Robinson Cano should have never left Scott Boras!” they all said.
Before we knew it, the Mariners had caved and Cano agreed to his massive deal. And the most amazing part about it is Jay-Z may have actually gotten the Mariners to outbid themselves with their final offer.
According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Mariners believed some other team had offered Cano nine years and $225 million. Who was that team? Why haven’t we heard anything about Cano being in legitimate talks with any other team or receiving any other offers that were north of $200 million? Probably because there was no other team.
The only other known offer Cano received was something in the range of seven years and around $160 million from the Yankees. That is nowhere near what Cano eventually signed for, and we previously told you that New York was not willing to go beyond $200 million to keep Cano. It now seems like there is a good chance no team was going to blow a $200 million offer out of the water.
Therefore, we are left to assume that Jay-Z handled Cano’s contract negotiations like a genius. Unless someone can prove there was another team that made a competitive offer, the only possible explanation is that Jay-Z dangled his high-profile client in front of the Mariners and then pulled him back. By that time, Seattle could already see the way the future of its franchise looked with Cano. They weren’t walking away from the table, and Jay-Z probably knew that. All indications are he handled the situation with perfection.
In the span of a few hours, Jay-Z has gone from an idiot who may have screwed Robinson Cano out of $50 million to a genius who has reportedly landed his client an absurd contract. According to ESPN’s Enrique Rojas, the Seattle Mariners and Cano have agreed to a 10-year contract worth $240 million. A physical is schedule for next Monday.
On Thursday, a report indicated that the Mariners were willing to pay Cano somewhere in the range of $230-$240 million. Talks then heated up between the two sides on Thursday night when Cano’s camp and the Mariners were reportedly close on a nine-year, $225 million contract. Things hit a snag when Jay-Z supposedly asked for a 10-year, $250 million deal at the last second and caused Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln to “explode” with anger.
The internet buzzed all morning on Friday about how Cano was an idiot for getting rid of Scott Boras because Jay-Z is in way over his head. Next thing we knew, the Mariners caved and gave Cano almost every penny that he was seeking. If all the reports are true, Jay-Z couldn’t have handled the negotiations any better.
Robinson Cano and the New York Yankees seem to be increasingly far apart in their contract negotiations, and the Seattle Mariners could be emerging as a contender to step in and sign the free agent second baseman.
We told you on Monday that Cano and the Yankees are nearly $100 million apart in negotiations. The Yankees are offering around seven years for $160 million, while Cano wants around $252 million for nine years. The Yankees reportedly will not go over $200 million to sign him.
While the Yankees are taking a harsh stance towards Cano in negotiations, the Mariners could be willing to give him closer to what he wants.
ESPN New York says the Yankees believe the Mariners might be willing to go over $200 million for eight years for Cano. Wallace Matthews quoted a source as saying “it doesn’t look good right now” for the Yankees to re-sign Cano. They put the Yankees’ chances of retaining the All-Star second baseman at “less than 50-50.”
The Mariners have frequently been cited as a team that could be a player in signing free agent hitters, but the rumors turned out to be false, or the Mariners never came through with a deal. They were said to be the runners-up for Josh Hamilton last year, and they have been cited as a possible team for free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
Could this be the time they finally open the vault and bring in a big-time player? I don’t see the Yankees acquiescing on Cano’s wishes for a huge contract. Unless he agrees to sign for less than he wants, he might end up elsewhere.
Seattle Mariners infield prospect Nick Franklin is looking to gain weight. The 21-year-old wants to bulk up for the upcoming year to better prepare himself for handling the rigors of a long baseball season, but he is not relying dietary supplements like most other pro athletes would. Instead, Franklin has just been stuffing his face and pounding shakes.
According to The Seattle Times, Franklin has been on a 6,500 calorie-per-day diet since last fall. The regimen includes alternating meals between an Italian restaurant, a Mexican restaurant and a pasta bakery. He has also taken a liking to milkshakes.
“Last year, during the season, I felt my body starting to collapse on me,” Franklin said. “At the end of August, I weighed 162 pounds and I was hitting balls to the gap that probably should have been out and they ended up going off the wall. One of them bounced to the wall. Those balls could have been out, so I wanted to put a lot of weight on and try to get to at least 200 pounds by the end of the spring, take the season from there and see whether I can maintain it.”
The former first-round pick, who split his time between Double-A and Triple-A last season, finished the year weighing in at 162 pounds. He arrived at spring training weighing 196 and is setting his sights on 200 pounds. So what does a day in the life of Nick Franklin look like?
To start his morning, Franklin says he enjoys six scrambled eggs and a protein shake. By about 10:30 a.m., he throws down another shake and a 1,500-calorie lunch. A 500-calorie shake follows at 2 p.m., a 250-calorie shake at 3 p.m and then a 500-calorie shake later in the day before his 1,500-calorie dinner. He uses popular restaurants like Chick-Fil-A, Chipotle Mexican Bar and Grill and Carrabba’s Italian Grill to pack on the calories when he doesn’t have time to cook.
Sounds like heaven, right? Not exactly.
“Honestly, there are some days where I just want to let it all go,” Franklin explained. “It’s hard to hold it down sometimes. Other than that, I feel like I’m on a full stomach the entire day. There’s not one point where I’m hungry. I’m always full when I’m eating, let’s just say that. I’m always eating when I’m not supposed to be eating.”
If Franklin has to eat all that just to get to around 6,500 calories per day, we can understand why this Michael Phelps diet turned out to not be true. Whatever the youngster is doing, it’s working. You think losing weight is tough? Try gaining more than 30 pounds in a few months.
Anyone who has watched a Seattle Mariners home game over the past eight years may have taken note of the “Ichimeter.” The Ichimeter is a hit-counter that was invented by Mariners Amy Franz in 2004, when it was used to count Ichiro’s hits on his way to an MLB record 262 hits in a single season. Over the past several seasons, the Ichimeter has been used to count the total amount of hits Ichiro has in his MLB career.
On Tuesday, Ichiro decided to thank Franz for her loyal service in operating the Ichimeter all those years by sending her a thank you package. Franz proudly shared the goods on Twitter, which included some autographed items and the thank you note that you see below.
The Mariners are planning to move in the fences at Safeco Field for the 2013 season to make it less of a pitchers’ park and more hitter-friendly.
Here are the changes they plan to make, according to the Seattle Times:
– The biggest change will be from left-center to straightaway center, where the wall will be moved in anywhere from four to 17 feet.
– From the left-field corner to the left-center power alley, the wall will come in four feet. Also, the hand-operated scoreboard that currently makes for a 16-foot-high wall to clear will be moved elsewhere, leaving the wall 8-feet-high.
– The distance to the left-center power alley will decrease from 390 to 378 feet.
– Straightaway center will decline from 405 to 401 feet.
– From straightaway center to the right-center power alley will change four feet from 385 to 381.
Safeco Field opened in July, 1999 as the Mariners’ new home ballpark. Unlike the Mariners’ previous home — the Kingdome — Safeco Field quickly gained a reputation as a pitchers’ park.
Safeco Field currently ranks last in ESPN’s Park Factor ratings which measures the stats of a team at home versus on the road to determine whether its home park favors hitters or pitchers. In every year ESPN has measured Park Factor since 2001, Safeco Field has rated as a pitchers’ park. Safeco Field’s Park Factor has never been higher than 18th in a season, according to ESPN’s stats. The Mariners ranked last in the AL in home runs from 2009-2011.
If you look at the splits for many current Mariners players, you’ll see that many of them have an OPS about 200 points higher on the road than at home. That’s just an absurd amount.
MLB.com reports that in the 13 seasons since Safeco Field has been the full-time home of the Mariners, the team has only had a higher batting average at home than on the road twice (in 2005 and ’08). They have only hit more home runs at home than on the road three times (2004, ’07, and ’11).
Safeco Field has long had a reputation for being such a pitchers’ park that they’ve had trouble attracting right-handed power hitters. Since the Mariners began playing full-time there in 2000, the highest home run total for one of their hitters is 41 by Alex Rodriguez in 2000. Rodriguez hit 13 of his home runs at home that season and 28 on the road. Adrian Beltre clubbed 48 home runs for the Dodgers in 2004 before signing with Seattle. He never topped 26 home runs in a season with the Mariners, but he’s hit at least 28 in every season since leaving Seattle.
Here’s a look at the home run totals for the player who led the Mariners each season since they moved into Safeco Field: