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2019 Seattle Mariners Thread

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Mariners give prospect Evan White $24M, 6-year deal

SEATTLE -- Evan White earned a $24 million, six-year contract from Seattle Mariners before playing a game above Double-A.

Seattle announced the contract Monday after the first baseman completed a physical. The agreement includes options for 2026-28 and likely will cover all the years White would be eligible for salary arbitration.

"I believe in the organization and where we're going and it's something I want to be a part of," White said.

The 23-year-old was the 17th overall pick in the 2017 amateur draft out of Kentucky. From the time he joined the Mariners' system he's been regarded as the club's first baseman of the future because of his excellent defense and a solid bat at the plate.

White's deal with the Mariners can max out in the mid-$50 million range, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan.

"For us to be able to do this with a player who has yet to play in the big leagues but we have become so comfortable with, not just with what we believe his upside as a player to be, but who he is as a person, I think all of that has gone into making this a very easy thing for us organizationally," Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto said.

Philadelphia infielder Scott Kingery ($24 million for six years) and Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez ($43 million for six years) agreed in March to lucrative contracts before their big-league debuts, but both had played at Triple-A.

It's the largest contract for an American player who has not played above Double-A, and Seattle added White to its 40-man roster in order to sign him to a big league deal. White said the first conversations started a little over a week ago.

"I didn't take this lightly. It's something took a lot of time thinking about and I think this is the best thing for us," White said.

Seattle envisions White as a major part of its future core, along with fellow top prospects Jarred Kelenic, Kyle Lewis, Logan Gilbert, Justin Dunn and Justus Sheffield. White is the only player in the organization currently under contract beyond the 2021 season. Both Kyle Seager and Yusei Kikuchi have options beyond 2021 but neither is locked in like White.

White should have a chance to earn the starting job at first base -- the Mariners used eight players there last year. Austin Nola and Daniel Vogelbach had the most games at first, but Seattle thinks White is a better defender.

While White's defense has been highly regarded, his bat isn't bad, either. He hit .293 with 18 homers and 55 RBI at Double-A Arkansas last season. White has hit .296 with an .832 OPS in parts of three seasons in the minors.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Your defense just got markedly better! 

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The Mariners have non-tendered outfielder Domingo Santana and infielder Tim Beckham, per a club announcement. Both players are now free agents.

 

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You kids can’t have anything nice. 

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Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger underwent core surgery earlier this week, GM Jerry Dipoto told reporters, including Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times and The Athletic’s Corey Brock.  Haniger is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks, and the outfielder will miss some time at the start of the season after missing such a large chunk of Spring Training.

 

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I immediately knew what this notification was about when it came up on Surly and I'm still pissed off that I was right.

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Ship it. 

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The Mariners have agreed to a minor league contract with three-time All-Star Carlos Gonzalez, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link). The 34-year-old Boras Corporation client has been invited to Major League Spring Training and would earn $750K if he cracks the big league roster.

A star-caliber player with the Rockies from 2010-16, Gonzalez is now three full seasons removed from his last above-average year at the plate by measure of park-adjusted metrics like OPS+ and wRC+. Dating back to Opening Day 2017, he’s slashed .260/.328/.423 in 1204 plate appearances with the Rockies, Indians and Cubs — including a .200/.289/.283 output in 166 plate appearances in 2019. Both Cleveland and Chicago released Gonzalez during the 2019 season.

That said, Gonzalez is a perfectly sensible roll of the dice for the Mariners, who’ll be without right fielder Mitch Haniger early in the season due to his recent core surgery. The Mariners figure to have Mallex Smith in center field in 2020, with rising prospect Kyle Lewis likely tabbed for left field duties. In right, they’ll take a look at Jake Fraley, Braden Bishop, recent waiver claim Jose Siri and now CarGo as they look to bridge the gap to Haniger’s return to the roster.

From 2010-16, Gonzalez posted a very strong .296/.353/.535 slash with 184 home runs, 197 doubles and 28 triples in 3714 plate appearances. Along the way, he racked up an even 1000 hits in total and captured three Gold Glove Awards, two Silver Sluggers and a National League batting title (.336 in 2010). It’s obviously doubtful that he’s capable of anything approaching that peak form, but the Mariners will take a free look at what Gonzalez has left in the tank this spring.

 

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Here you go, some props from a guy that covers the Rangers’ minor leaguers. 

 

 

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