The Seattle Mariners search for a new manager has been the focus of attention of fans and media over the last 10 days, but general manager Jack Zduriencik and his scouting staff have been busy elsewhere, too.
While not as sexy as pursuing C.C. Sabathia or a major trade, Zduriencik's staff has been going over the list of 561 minor-league free agents – most of them Triple-A players – that includes 22 of their own.
The goal is straightforward: improve the Mariners minor league system and, if possible, pick up players who might have a role on the big-league team at some point.
Given the teams needs at first base and the outfield at every level, there's good reason to scan the possibilities.
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Every team has a list of minor league free agents, and the Mariners staff has huddled to compare notes from last season.
If you want to look at the full list – all 561 players – here's a link to the most complete list at Baseball America.
And if you're wondering, as the Mariners are, who they might lose through minor league free agency, here's the list of the Seattle playes now eligible:
RHP: Travis Chick, Jon Huber, Roman Martinez , Scott Shoemaker, Jorge Sosa.
LHP: Jason Kershner, Ryan Ketchner, Nelson Payano.
C: Fleming Baez, Fernando, Encarnacion,Gabe Johnson, Luis Oliveros, Jose Yepez.
1B: Geraldo Valentin.
2B: Kevin Howard.
3B: Lou Lucca.
SS: Mark Kiger.
OF: Victor Diaz, Shawn Garrett, Noah Hall, Jon Nelson, Craig Wilson.