Talked to Tony Blengino, the sabermetrics ace and special assistant to Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik, and among his chores this week has been sifting through a list of more than 500 minor league free agents that will flood the market on Friday.
That's right, minor league free agents.
"I've got more than 15 pages of names, and you know there are players in that group who will have an impact for one big-league team or another next season," Blengino said. "We've scouted most of them over the course of last season, we've got repors and an analysis on them."
Expect the Mariners and all 29 other teams to restock their farm systems - and bring aboard spring training invitees - from that list.
And if you want to start finding hidden talent, here's a list of each and every minor league free agent courtesy of Baseball America.
Thirty-two of those minor league free agents, by the way, are from the Mariners farm system.
- The Everett Herald's gift to baseball, beat writer Kirby Arnold, has a thoughtful interview with Mariners skipper Don Wakamatsu today, talking about his thoughts on how to improve the team in 2010.
No, he's not talking free agents, but ways he and his staff will ask players to aproach the game differently. Great read.
- Here's a story that may cheer up Seattle fans: The Washington Nationals are serious about John Lackey.
It sounds like a longshot - why would Lackey jump from a playoff team to the Nationals? Still, the thought of the Angels losing Lackey, and the Mariners not having to face him in 2010, may brighten your spirits.
- Yes, the Mariners were among the teams rumored to have interest in 41-year-old John Smoltz, but so are the Texas Rangers, apparently. Here's a link to an analysis of Smoltz and the Rangers.
And here's a shout out to former Mariners manager John McLaren, hired by former Mariners manager Jim Riggleman as his bench coach with the Nationals. Good to see McLaren back in uniform.