Paxton, Mariners target 'complete season'

Mariners left-hander focused on diet, workouts, kinesiology during offseason

Paxton, Mariners target 'complete season'

SEATTLE -- One of the critical questions facing the Mariners this offseason isn't new, but it does loom large. Can James Paxton stay healthy enough to anchor Seattle's rotation going forward?

Even as Paxton has developed into one of the most dominant left-handers in the game, that query has been constant for the past four years. And now, coming off a season in which he was in the conversation for the American League Cy Young Award until getting derailed again by an injury, the Mariners must determine how much they can count on the big Canadian.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners working to fix Griffey statue

Sculptor will be in Seattle to assess damage from vandalism

Mariners working to fix Griffey statue

SEATTLE -- Ken Griffey Jr. dealt with numerous broken bats during his 22-year playing career, but the Mariners vowed the bronze statue of their Hall of Fame center fielder at the front gate of Safeco Field will be repaired and returned to its original state.

Someone broke off the bat in Griffey's hands on the 7-foot statue about 5 p.m. PT on Tuesday. Seattle police, responding to calls from a witness who saw the incident taking place, arrested an adult male who was booked into King County Jail on suspicion of felony malicious mischief, Seattle Police Detective Mark Jamison told the Seattle Times.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Servais looks to improve Mariners' baserunning

Servais looks to improve Mariners' baserunning

SEATTLE -- There may be four months between now and the start of Spring Training, but that hasn't stopped Mariners manager Scott Servais from beginning to plot ways to improve one of his team's major weaknesses last year.

After vowing to be an aggressive baserunning club that took advantage of improved speed and athleticism in 2017, instead the Mariners found themselves committing far too many mistakes on the bases and running into enough outs to leave Servais searching for solutions.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Top prospect Lewis continues to rehab knee

Outfielder set to begin AFL action next week

Top prospect Lewis continues to rehab knee

SEATTLE -- Mariners top prospect Kyle Lewis hasn't played in the first six games of the Arizona Fall League as he works to strengthen his surgically repaired right knee, but the young outfielder is expected to begin seeing action for the Peoria Javelinas next week.

Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said Lewis is halfway through a previously planned two-week strengthening program on the knee, which required extensive surgery in July 2016 after a home-plate collision while playing for the Short-A Everett AquaSox.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cruz up for Esurance Personality of the Year

Cruz up for Esurance Personality of the Year

While Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz has made a name for himself hitting mammoth home runs, it's his personality that really shined throughout the 2017 season.

Whether it was funny bat flips, handshakes with teammates or talking with opponents, he made sure to have fun and not take himself too seriously. That helped earn Cruz a nomination in this year's Esurance MLB Awards for Personality of the Year.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: What will Paxton's status be in 2018?

Beat reporter Greg Johns answers questions from Mariners fans

Inbox: What will Paxton's status be in 2018?

Which is more likely, James Paxton being the Opening Day starter or Felix Hernandez dropping to third in the rotation next year? -- Josh W., Eugene, Ore.

Scott Servais doesn't let me set his rotation quite this early, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if Paxton winds up pitching against the Indians on March 29 in next season's opener at Safeco Field. Clearly Paxton was Seattle's best pitcher last season and, when healthy, one of the most dominant lefties in the game.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Alonso would welcome return to Mariners

First baseman set to hit free agency after breakout season

Alonso would welcome return to Mariners

SEATTLE -- After a breakout season in 2017, Yonder Alonso isn't sure where he's headed as he hits free agency for the first time this offseason. But the 30-year-old first baseman certainly would welcome the chance to return to the Mariners after playing the final seven weeks of the season in Seattle.

"I love it here," Alonso said. "It's awesome, a first-class group, and they treated me well. I'd love to be back here. I think the future here is very bright, and we're very close to winning, and I would definitely want to be a part of that.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dipoto, Servais get CEO's vote of confidence

Stanton 'all in' on club's vision, committed to return to postseason

Dipoto, Servais get CEO's vote of confidence

SEATTLE -- John Stanton describes his first full season as the CEO of the Mariners as a "roller coaster." But the man who heads the club's ownership group remains fully behind the efforts of general manager Jerry Dipoto and manager Scott Servais, despite a disappointing finish in 2017.

Stanton believes Dipoto's vision and plan are solid and that things would have been different this season if not for the plethora of pitching injuries that sidetracked those efforts. But he acknowledged the bottom line remains frustrating for fans wondering what it will take for the Mariners to end the longest postseason drought in the Majors.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shoring up rotation a priority for 2018

Injuries plagued Mariners' starters in disappointing season

Shoring up rotation a priority for 2018

SEATTLE -- General manager Jerry Dipoto likely won't make quite as many moves this winter as he did the past two offseasons, but that doesn't mean the Mariners won't find themselves in the middle of numerous Hot Stove scenarios as they look to improve a club that fell short of expectations in 2017.

Dipoto never has been shy about wheeling and dealing, making more trades than any other GM in the Majors since taking over Seattle's reins in October 2015. He's been less involved in free-agent pursuits, but that could change if the Mariners manage to push themselves into the middle of the chase for two-way Japanese standout Shohei Ohtani.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Heredia undergoes surgery on right shoulder

Mariners outfielder expected to be ready for Spring Training

Heredia undergoes surgery on right shoulder

SEATTLE -- Mariners outfielder Guillermo Heredia underwent surgery on his right shoulder in Miami on Monday and is expected to be ready for Spring Training in February.

The 26-year-old from Cuba had surgery to repair a Bankart lesion, which is tear of the shoulder labrum that results in dislocation of the shoulder joint. The surgery was performed by Dr. John Uribe.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Neidert, Vogelbach named top prospects

Neidert, Vogelbach named top prospects

SEATTLE -- Nick Neidert knows the Major Leagues are still a couple steps away, but the Mariners' MLBPipeline.com Pitching Prospect of the Year couldn't be blamed for dreaming a little as he stood in the team's dugout at Safeco Field on the team's final homestand and gazed out at the field and crowd gathering for that night's game.

"Absolutely," said the 20-year-old right-hander from Georgia. "You envision a couple years standing out there on that mound, surrounded by all the Seattle fans. That will be just one incredible moment."

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

King Felix realizes adjustments are necessary

Now 31, Hernandez will tweak offseason workout, in-game approach

King Felix realizes adjustments are necessary

SEATTLE -- While the nucleus of the Mariners' roster figures to remain in place next year as general manager Jerry Dipoto continues building around a core of established players returning, one change appears inevitable.

Felix Hernandez no longer can be counted on as the ace or guaranteed innings-eater he has been as he comes off an injury-plagued campaign, during which he threw just 86 2/3 innings while spending 92 days on the disabled list due to a pair of shoulder-related stints.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners part ways with Bogar, Candaele

Acta to become bench coach, Brosius to move to third-base coach

Mariners part ways with Bogar, Candaele

SEATTLE -- Bench coach Tim Bogar and first-base coach Casey Candaele will not return to the Mariners' coaching staff next season, the club announced Tuesday.

Third base coach Manny Acta will move into the bench coach position, with assistant coach Scott Brosius taking over Acta's spot at third base. Special projects coach Chris Prieto has been promoted to fill Candaele's spot at first base.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Safeco Field to get playing surface upgrades

Safeco Field to get playing surface upgrades

SEATTLE -- The Safeco Field playing surface will be getting a complete makeover this offseason for the first time since the stadium opened in 1999, with work scheduled to get underway Thursday.

The infield and foul-territory grass was changed before the 2012 season, but this will be the first time the entire outfield grass will be replaced.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dipoto says club needs 'wolf pack' pitching plan

Dipoto says club needs 'wolf pack' pitching plan

SEATTLE -- Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto noted Tuesday that the Major League game is changing for pitchers' usage and more of a "wolf pack" mentality is needed when it comes to accumulating a larger group of quality starters as well as a bullpen capable of covering additional innings.

But Dipoto, who is never shy on words, grew short when asked about Shohei Ohtani, who could conceivably be a much-needed lead wolf for any team that signs the Japanese two-way star.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

High expectations dashed in September

High expectations dashed in September

SEATTLE -- The Mariners made more roster moves and used more players than any other team in the Majors in 2017. But in the end, all that churn didn't help Seattle get where it wanted, as it missed the postseason for a 16th straight year, the longest drought in baseball.

A season of high expectations came to a disappointing conclusion as a late-September slump dropped Seattle out of American League Wild Card consideration in the final week after the club tried to push through a series of injuries to its starting rotation that began in Spring Training and never seemed to let up.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Injury woes too much for Mariners to overcome

Four starters missed at least two months during regular season

Injury woes too much for Mariners to overcome

ANAHEIM -- In the end, the Mariners' 2017 season wound up being about a club that carried high expectations and looked good at times but couldn't quite put everything together.

That frustration was summarized well in a season-ending 6-2 loss to the Angels that spoiled a scoreless start from James Paxton.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Paxton K's 9, but 'pen allows 6-run 7th in finale

Paxton K's 9, but 'pen allows 6-run 7th in finale

ANAHEIM -- After being stymied through six innings by left-hander James Paxton, the Angels' offense erupted for six runs in the seventh against the Mariners' bullpen, leading to a 6-2 victory in Sunday's regular-season finale at Angel Stadium.

The Angels (80-82) sent 11 to the plate in the seventh and used three walks, three singles, two sacrifice flies and a three-run home run from Eric Young Jr. to break a scoreless tie and build a six-run lead.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hannemann, Marjama notch first MLB homers

Hannemann, Marjama notch first MLB homers

ANAHEIM -- While Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano both hit their 300th career home runs this season, outfielder Jacob Hannemann and catcher Mike Marjama are at the other end of the spectrum.

But you've got to start somewhere and Hannemann -- a 26-year-old rookie claimed off waivers from the Cubs earlier this month -- tallied the first homer of his career in Saturday's 6-5 win over the Angels. Marjama, a 28-year-old acquired from the Rays in an August trade and promoted to the big leagues for the first time as a September callup, followed suit with his own first home run in Sunday's 6-2 season-ending loss.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Draft order set; Mariners to pick 14th

Giants, Phillies, White Sox and Reds follow Detroit in top five

Draft order set; Mariners to pick 14th

Both the San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers had designs on the postseason in 2017. For a variety of reasons, things didn't work out as planned. The consolation prize? Getting to pick at the top of the 2018 Draft.

It came down to the final day of the season and both teams finished tied with 64-98 records. By virtue of the Tigers' .534 winning percentage in 2016 (the Giants finished that season at .537), they get the first pick. Detroit has had the No. 1 pick just once before, taking Matt Anderson in 1997.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Seager, Seattle slug past Halos with 5-run 8th

Seager, Seattle slug past Halos with 5-run 8th

ANAHEIM -- Kyle Seager and Yonder Alonso launched back-to-back home runs to highlight a five-run eighth inning that propelled the Mariners to a 6-4 comeback win over the Angels on Saturday night at Angel Stadium.

The Angels took a 4-1 lead into the eighth, but Seattle mounted a rally against Cam Bedrosian, who faced five batters and couldn't record an out. Mitch Haniger, Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz produced three consecutive singles to cut the deficit to two, and Seager then blasted a three-run shot to center field to put the Mariners ahead, 5-4. Alonso capped the big inning with a solo homer, marking the ninth time Seattle hitters have gone back-to-back this season.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Haniger's 5-hit night caps smokin' September

Mariners rookie has hit .378 with 8 homers over last 28 games

Haniger's 5-hit night caps smokin' September

ANAHEIM -- Mitch Haniger seems intent on finishing what he started this year, which is to say, a really strong rookie campaign.

The Mariners' 26-year-old right fielder went 5-for-5 with three doubles in Saturday's 6-4 come-from-behind victory over the Angels, hiking his season average to .285 with one game remaining.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Producer-engineer Cremin retiring from booth

Rizzs praises storied career of broadcasting 'brother'

Producer-engineer Cremin retiring from booth

ANAHEIM -- As a handful of players are loosening up on the field, getting in some early running four hours before game time, Kevin Cremin is busily setting up the gear and testing the equipment for the Mariners' radio crew in the visitors' broadcast booth at Angel Stadium.

It's a chore Cremin has handled for nearly 6,000 games in press boxes across the country over the past 35 years as the producer-engineer for the Mariners' flagship station. But the finish line is near. Cremin is retiring at the season's end, which means this is his final weekend.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Iwakuma undergoes shoulder surgery

Mariners veteran expected to resume throwing in 5 months

Iwakuma undergoes shoulder surgery

ANAHEIM -- Veteran right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma underwent surgery to repair the right shoulder issue that sidelined him most of the season on Wednesday, the Mariners announced Friday.

Iwakuma had arthroscopic debridement surgery performed by Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas and is expected to be able to resume throwing in five months.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners' 3 homers not enough as Halos rally

Mariners' 3 homers not enough as Halos rally

ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout's second homer of the game and Luis Valbuena's pinch-hit, two-run double led to a four-run eighth inning that vaulted the Angels to a 6-5 comeback victory over the Mariners in Friday night's series opener at Angel Stadium.

With the Angels trailing, 5-2, Trout ignited the rally with a solo shot off Nick Vincent. Albert Pujols then doubled and scored on C.J. Cron's two-out RBI single to bring the Halos within one. After Kole Calhoun reached on a single that deflected off the foot of Marc Rzepczynski, manager Mike Scioscia decided to bring in Valbuena to hit for Cliff Pennington. Valbuena followed by stroking a double to right field, driving in the game-winning runs for the Angels.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Is Beckham's one start enough to impress?

Veteran infielder flashes glove in hopes of sticking with Mariners in 2018

Is Beckham's one start enough to impress?

ANAHEIM -- He's played nearly 1,000 games in his nine-year Major League career, most of them with the White Sox team that drafted him with the eighth overall selection in 2008 and had him in the big leagues a year later as a promising infielder.

But Gordon Beckham took a little extra pride in his one and only start so far with the Mariners, given he proved to himself -- and he's hoping the Mariners as well -- that he can still be a valuable contributor to a club after spending the year toiling with Triple-A Tacoma on a Minor League contract.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Erasmo established as potential 2018 starter

Subpar final outing doesn't overshadow big contributions to Seattle in second half

Erasmo established as potential 2018 starter

OAKLAND -- Erasmo Ramirez wasn't as sharp in his final start of the season on Wednesday in a 6-5 walk-off loss to the A's, but the newly re-acquired right-hander clearly has pushed himself into the Mariners' rotation picture going into next year.

The 27-year-old from Nicaragua didn't get much help from his defense against the A's, as he finished up with a five-inning outing, allowing eight hits and five runs (three earned) in a 92-pitch performance.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Heredia will need surgery on right shoulder

Defensive standout expected to be ready by Spring Training

Heredia will need surgery on right shoulder

OAKLAND -- Mariners outfielder Guillermo Heredia is going to need surgery on his right shoulder, manager Scott Servais said Wednesday, but the expectation is he'll be ready for the start of Spring Training in February.

Heredia flew back to Seattle on Wednesday morning to get a second opinion on the injury, which has been diagnosed as a subluxation, meaning the shoulder keeps coming out of its joint.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cruz, Cano blasts for naught in Oakland finale

Cruz, Cano blasts for naught in Oakland finale

OAKLAND -- Mark Canha hit a solo homer in the ninth to give the A's their 11th walk-off win of the season, a 6-5 victory over the Mariners on Wednesday afternoon at Oakland Coliseum.

Canha drilled a cutter from Mariners reliever Shae Simmons to left for his fifth homer of the season. The 11 walk-off wins are the second-most in all of baseball in 2017, only trailing the Orioles (12). The blast was also the eighth walk-off homer for the A's, one short of the Major League record for most in a single season, which is nine by the 1995 Indians.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area and covered the A's on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.