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Mariners add veteran infielder Tim Beckham, reliever Cory Gearrin on one-year contracts | The Seattle Times

Beckham will serve as the everyday shortstop until prospect J.P. Crawford is ready, while Gearrin adds depth to the bullpen.

Source: Mariners add veteran infielder Tim Beckham, reliever Cory Gearrin on one-year contracts | The Seattle Times

With spring training looming just a month away, the Mariners are continuing to add final pieces to their 40-man roster in preparation for the 2019 season.

Major League Baseball sources confirm that infielder Tim Beckham and reliever Cory Gearrin have agreed to one-year big-league contracts — meaning both will be added to the 40-man roster. To make room, outfielder John Andreoli was designated for assignment. 

Per a report from USA Today, Beckham will make a base salary of $1.75 million with multiple incentives that could push the deal over $2 million.

“Cory Gearrin brings much needed veteran experience and stability to the back of our bullpen. He has been a solid under the radar performer, particularly over the past two seasons,” general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. “Tim Beckham is a very talented player who is one year removed from being one of the more productive shortstops in the American League. He is a real offensive threat with multi-position defensive versatility that fits our team very well.”

Beckham will come into camp as the expected opening-day starting shortstop. While the Mariners acquired young shortstop J.P. Crawford from the Phillies in the seven-player trade that sent Jean Segura to Philadelphia, they don’t want to rush the former top prospect into everyday MLB playing time and instead let him adapt to the organization. The Mariners have some adjustments they want Crawford to make both at the plate and in the field, and it’s likely they’ll have him do that with Class AAA Tacoma to start the season.

Dipoto recently said the team would sign a veteran infielder to handle the shortstop duties until Crawford is ready to become the everyday shortstop. Beckham, who turns 29 on January 27, fits that role in that he can switch to a utility role — something he’s done extensively the past few seasons — when Crawford is deemed ready to take over the role.

Gearrin, who turns 33 in April, pitched for the Giants, Rangers and A’s last season. He’ll add depth to a patchwork bullpen that has been decimated by offseason moves. He made a total of 62 appearances, posting a 2-1 record and 3.77 ERA in 57 1/3 innings pitched. He struck out 53 batters and walked 21. He was solid for the Rangers in a middle relief role, posting a 2.53 ERA in 21 appearances. He struck out 20 batters and walked six in 21 1/3 innings pitched.

Beckham spent last season with the Orioles, splitting time at third base and shortstop with a few games at second base sprinkled in. He played in 96 games, posting a .230/.287/.374 slash line (batting average, on-base, slugging percentage) with 17 doubles, 12 homers and 53 RBI. Beckham dealt with a handful of injuries that slowed his production. He had a bit of a breakout after he was traded to the Orioles at the deadline in 2017. In the 50 games to close out 2017, he posted a .306/.348/.523 slash line with 13 doubles, two triples, 10 homers and 26 RBI.

Coming out of Griffin High School in Georgia, Beckham was selected with the first overall pick of the 2008 draft. His combination of speed, power and athleticism in a shortstop was unique. But he never quite reached those expectations in the Rays system. He struggled with consistency in the field and tended to strike out too much at the plate.

The Rays eventually converted him more to a utility player after he failed to win the everyday shortstop job despite numerous attempts. Beckham has played all four infield positions in his career.

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Female Mariners Team Performance Doctor Blasts Front Office for Racist Comments | 12up

Back in the 1960’s the San Francisco Giants should have become a powerhouse team to rival the Yankees, but never did. Later it was revealed that manager Alvin Dark had some major issues with racism, particularly towards his Latino players.

Now it might appear that the Mariners, who are nowhere near becoming a powerhouse to rival anybody might have similar problems…

Source: Female Mariners Team Performance Doctor Blasts Front Office for Racist Comments | 12up

Trouble is brewing around ​what was formerly known as Safeco Field.​ After terminating the contract of team doctor Lorena Martin, the M’s appear to have opened a Pandora’s Box.

Dr. Martin took to Instagram on Monday to voice her displeasure with the front office, detailing alleged incidents in which the front office said several disparaging things about Latino players:

If there is truth to these allegations, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto and other members of the top brass have some explaining to do. In fact, numerous individuals would deserve to be out of a job.

It’s already been a rough few months for Seattle. They initially looked like they would be a dark horse playoff team before collapsing over the latter half of the season. Reports then emerged early this offseason that they were potentially considering ​a full teardown of their current roster in order to prepare for the future.

Now, on top of all of that, they have to deal with this mess.

Bob Nightengale

@BNightengale

Very serious allegations by employee who has been fired.

Ryan Divish@RyanDivish

For those without Instagram, here’s Dr. Lorena Martin’s comments …

View image on Twitter

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The extent to which these allegations can be corroborated remains to be seen. But for now, things certainly do not look good for Dipoto– or for manager Scott Servais.

There was a time not so long ago when these two men had high hopes for 2018. Now, they’re likely just hoping they can weather an oncoming storm and and keep away from the unemployment line.

Fare thee well, Mike Zunino – Lookout Landing

It wasn’t supposed to end like this.

Coming out of spring training this last season, Mike Zunino held a slash line of .395/.458/.791 with five dingers. He looked happy, comfortable, and confident at the plate. He looked like he was building on his 2017, when he posted similar numbers in the spring and finished with 3.7 fWAR thanks to his always-excellent defense and a second-half improvement that saw his wRC+ rise from 99 in the first half—still totally fine for a catcher with gold glove-caliber defense—to a scorching 155 over the second half.

2018 was supposed to be the Year of Mike Zunino.

Instead, an oblique injury knocked him out for the first month of the season, and an ankle injury later in the season. Zunino was never able to get on the right track offensively: although he recovered some of the power the oblique injury sapped from him, the strikeouts he’d worked hard to control over the second half of 2017 ballooned back up while his walk rate tumbled. It was, as Ryan Divish said, another lost year at the plate for Zunino.

And now there will be no chance for a Year of Mike Zunino in 2019. Or there might be, but it will be as a member of the Tampa Bay organization, as the Mariners dealt him and human ray of sunshine Guillermo Heredia to the Rays this week.

Beyond the actual players traded, this trade deals away psychological angst: Jerry Dipoto creates another fissure between his version of the Seattle Mariners and the roster he inherited, hurtling ever-nearer to the day that a clean break is made; and Zunino gets to lay down the burden of representing Mariner fans’ hopes and dreams for the future, a burden that grew heavier with each draft pick that flamed out. For Zunino, the trade to Tampa Bay represents a fresh start in his own backyard. His long, complicated, at times heart-wrenching history of player development in Seattle has come to an end.

We will miss him.

Back in June, before his season went off the rails, John wrote about the help the defensive wunderkind Zunino offers to a pitching staff that relies heavily on location. As it stands right now, the entire Mariners pitching staff just got a little worse, and maybe a lot worse. Defense has always been the one unassailable part of Zunino’s game, and Mariners fans who love the fine art of catching should start preparing themselves now to understand how spoiled we’ve been by watching Z’s plus-plus defense the last handful of years.

Source: Fare thee well, Mike Zunino – Lookout Landing

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