Mariners Insider Blog

Two new coaches, a little Raul, a little ... Junior?

Don Wakamatsu got more than two coaches Monday, he brought two good friends aboard the Seattle Mariners 2009 staff.

Both bench coach Ty Van Berkleo and first base coach Lee Tinsley are long-time friends and colleagues, on and off the field, and Wakamatsu said that was a factor.

"They're good friends, but as coaches they're as good as there is out there," he said. "Both these guys are instructors, they communicate well with players. They're going to help change the baseball culture on this team."

As the coaches were being introduced, GM Jack Zduriencik said he had one contract offer on the table to an unnamed free agent, had offered binding salary arbitration to Raul Ibanez - and had talked last week to the agent of Ken Griffey Jr.

"I've had discussions with Junior's agent, yes. We talked about him next year," Zduriencik said. "Is there anything concrete? No. It's more an inquiry than anything else. It was a very cordial conversation. How would he fit with the club? I'm not sure."

The team plans to announce other new coaches as they are hired, probably within the week.

Read our story here.