Just talked on the phone with Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu, who's preparing for his first deer hunting trip in Texas.
Obviously, he's quite elated about his new pitcher. He'd talked with GM Jack Zduriencik about acquiring Cliff Lee during the winter meetings, but until then he tried not to get overly optimistic knowing how quickly deals can fall apart.
"This has been kicking this around a while since the winter meetings, I was waiting around for it come through," he said. "I wasn't going to count my chickens before it happened. There were a lot of things that needed to go into this for us to get who we were able to get."
But he also had plenty of faith in Zduriencik.
"There are so many dynamics to get a deal done, so many things for deal not work out," Wakamatsu said. "I saw him do it last year. I’ve been able to work side by side at last two winter meetings and see how hard he works."
Wakamatsu talked about all of the conversations he and Zduriencik had about players and possibilities
"I finally said, 'Jack, I trust you. Do what you need to do. We’ll do our part.'"
The prospect of having of Felix Hernandez and Lee as the 1-2 at the top of the rotation made him chuckle a little.
"That's a pretty good tandem," he said.
It's a tandem most teams would love to have.
"Nothing gives you - I hesitate to say this because I used it so much last year. It was the theme of 2009 - but nothing gives you a belief system like having starting pitching," Wakamatsu said.
In the last few days, with the acquisition of Chone Figgins and now Cliff Lee and the losses suffered by the Angels, the Mariners are starting to become the chic pick in the AL West.
Wakamatsu did not want to go there.
"Obviously, I think of those things," he said. "Obviously this team has had talent in the past and it didn't pan out. Having players is one thing. But you need to find a way to bring them together."
He mentioned that he'd talked to Mark Teixeira earlier in the day.
"He talked about how much (the Yankees) came together as a team, and even with their obvious talent if they didn't come together, they might not have done what they did," he said. "Our job is to duplicate that and get our talent to come together."