Mariners sign Lowe, 2 others to Minor League deals

Mariners sign Lowe, 2 others to Minor League deals

SEATTLE -- Right-handed reliever Mark Lowe, who began his career with parts of five seasons in Seattle, is returning to the Mariners on a Minor League deal with an invitation to Major League camp.

Lowe is one of three players with Major League experience who have signed Minor League deals with camp invites, the club announced Thursday. The others are right-handed pitcher Justin Germano and infielder Carlos Rivero.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners acquire versatile outfielder Ruggiano from Cubs

Seattle sends Minor League right-handed reliever Brazis to Chicago

Mariners acquire versatile outfielder Ruggiano from Cubs

SEATTLE -- The Mariners added some needed outfield depth Wednesday by acquiring Justin Ruggiano from the Cubs in a trade for Minor League reliever Matt Brazis, and the club will continue looking for other opportunities to improve its offense, according to general manager Jack Zduriencik.

The move could foreshadow a platoon scenario for the Mariners in their right-field situation. Ruggiano, 32, gives Seattle a right-handed option who can play all three outfield positions. The six-year Major League veteran hit .281 with six home runs and 28 RBIs in 224 at-bats in 81 games last season for the Cubs.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Who will Mariners' biggest surprise be in 2015?

Beat reporter Greg Johns fields questions from Seattle fans this offseason

Inbox: Who will Mariners' biggest surprise be in 2015?

Here's the latest in our Reader Inbox series. You can click here to submit a question of your own.

It seems like every season there is a player or two that really surprise everyone. Who do you think might do that next year for the Mariners?
-- Henry L., Lewiston, Idaho

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners seek creative options for right-field vacancy

Cabrera's deal with White Sox forces club to pursue alternatives

Mariners seek creative options for right-field vacancy

SEATTLE -- Melky Cabrera, the free-agent outfielder expected by many to wind up with the Mariners this offseason, instead opted to sign with the White Sox late Saturday night. And that might push Seattle more toward available trade options as general manager Jack Zduriencik looks to fill a right-field vacancy.

Cabrera's deal is for three years and will pay $42 million, a source told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez, though it hasn't been announced by the White Sox.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

John Olerud raises 12 Flag for Seahawks

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John Olerud raises 12 Flag for Seahawks

Unless you play bass in Pearl Jam (you don't) or you're a mid-level executive for a corporation know for its popular coffee franchises (you're not), John Olerud is more indigenous to the Pacific Northwest than you are.

The former All-Star was born in Seattle, went on to follow in his father's footsteps by playing baseball at nearby Washington State University. Eventually, Olerud brought it all full circle, playing five seasons for the Mariners and hitting .302 in their 116-win 2001 campaign.

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Mariners pluck lefty Rollins from Astros in Rule 5 Draft

Drafted in 2009, '10 by Seattle, hard thrower will have chance to earn 'pen role

Mariners pluck lefty Rollins from Astros in Rule 5 Draft

SAN DIEGO -- David Rollins, a left-hander in the Astros' organization, was selected by the Mariners in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft and general manager Jack Zduriencik said the 24-year-old will be given a shot at winning a job in the bullpen.

Rollins had been selected twice by Seattle in the First-Year Player Draft -- in the 23rd round in 2009 and 46th round in '10 -- but never signed until being selected by the Blue Jays in the 24th round in '11 out of San Jacinto Junior College in Texas.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zduriencik confident club will fill right-field void over winter

Seattle GM pleased with talks during Meetings, has plenty of time, options

Zduriencik confident club will fill right-field void over winter

SAN DIEGO -- The Mariners departed the Winter Meetings on Thursday without having filled their biggest remaining goal of adding a right fielder, but it appears only a matter of time before general manager Jack Zduriencik checks off that last remaining box on his winter wish list.

Zduriencik said he had productive talks on several fronts over his four days at the Meetings and there are still free agent and trade possibilities to pursue.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McClendon: Success for Mariners starts with preparation

McClendon: Success for Mariners starts with preparation

SAN DIEGO -- A year ago, Lloyd McClendon was one of the new guys at the Winter Meetings, just taking over a Mariners club with more questions than answers and looking to make his mark with a team coming off its fourth straight losing season.

But McClendon now brings a year's experience in Seattle and increased expectations with a club that improved by 16 wins in his first season, just missing an American League Wild Card spot at 87-75 and now looking to take the next step up in the AL West.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zduriencik: Mariners 'very pleased' with Walker

Zduriencik: Mariners 'very pleased' with Walker

SAN DIEGO -- The Mariners likely will leave the Winter Meetings on Thursday without having made any further moves, but they'll also leave with their stable of talented young pitchers intact and the ability to still add a needed right fielder in the coming days.

And that's just fine with Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik, who made it clear Wednesday that Taijuan Walker, the talented young right-hander most often named in trade rumors, remains an integral part of his club going forward.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners' top prospect Jackson adds to accolades

Mariners' top prospect Jackson adds to accolades

SAN DIEGO -- Alex Jackson doesn't turn 19 until Christmas Day, but the Mariners' 2014 first-round Draft choice already finds himself garnering awards as one of baseball's top young prospects.

The San Diego native was honored Tuesday night as Baseball America's High School Player of the Year at a banquet at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, site of the Minor League Winter Meetings.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners waiting for market to take shape

Mariners waiting for market to take shape

SAN DIEGO -- The Mariners continued looking into their options to land a right fielder on Tuesday, but pitching has been the focus for many teams at the Winter Meetings and Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik reported little progress in his pursuits.

"We have our discussions going and my sense is it's going to take a little more time on a couple different fronts," Zduriencik said.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zduriencik praises Montero's offseason workouts

Zduriencik praises Montero's offseason workouts

SAN DIEGO -- While Jesus Montero has been the subject of considerable criticism in the past, Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik was effusive with his praise for the 25-year-old on Tuesday as he talked about the former top prospect's offseason efforts.

Montero, who was sidelined by the team for the final month of the 2014 season following an altercation with a Mariners scout during a Minor League game, is spending the winter in Arizona, working out daily with Mariners strength and conditioning coach James Clifford.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Meeting with McClendon part of Mariners auction items

Meeting with McClendon part of Mariners auction items

SAN DIEGO -- The Winter Meetings focus largely on the business of baseball, the potential wheelings and dealings between teams and players and agents. But baseball has a personal side, too, and that side rose up Monday afternoon in a Stand Up To Cancer gathering that kicked off an MLB auction to benefit LUNGevity.

For the third consecutive year, Major League Baseball, MLB Advanced Media, MLB Network and the 30 clubs have organized a Winter Meetings charity auction that includes unique baseball experiences and items to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. The initiative was inspired by the numerous employees, friends and fans of the game who have been directly affected by cancer.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners not close on Melky; widen RF search

Mariners not close on Melky; widen RF search

SAN DIEGO -- While talk circulated quickly around the start of the Winter Meetings that the Mariners were zeroing in on a deal with free-agent outfielder Melky Cabrera, word emerged Monday afternoon that the two sides weren't that close and the club was widening its search for a right fielder.

General manager Jack Zduriencik declined comment on Cabrera or any specific free agents, but said Monday evening that nothing was imminent on any fronts after meeting with numerous teams and player agents in the opening day of baseball's annual gathering of executives.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners happy to go with Zunino, Sucre behind plate

Mariners happy to go with Zunino, Sucre behind plate

SAN DIEGO -- While several Major League clubs are shopping their catchers, Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said Monday he's pleased with his current group of young backstops as the Winter Meetings got underway.

Although Seattle reportedly showed some interest earlier this offseason in top free agent Russell Martin before he signed with Toronto, they don't appear in the market now for two available catchers: Wilin Rosario of the Rockies and Dioner Navarro of the Blue Jays.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zduriencik keeping tabs on former Mariner Gutierrez

Zduriencik keeping tabs on former Mariner Gutierrez

SAN DIEGO -- Former Mariners outfielder Franklin Gutierrez hit a home run in his first at-bat in the Venezuelan Winter League on Monday as he began preparing for what could be a comeback attempt in Major League Baseball.

Gutierrez, 31, spent all of 2014 on the restricted list after telling the Mariners he wanted to sit out the season to deal with ongoing issues with an inflammatory nerve condition called ankylosing spondylitis.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'I'm here to win,' Cruz says of joining Mariners

Right-handed slugger introduced to Seattle

'I'm here to win,' Cruz says of joining Mariners

SEATTLE -- When they signed Robinson Cano a year ago to one of the richest contracts in Major League history, the Mariners got more than just the game's premier second basemen. Turns out they also landed a first-class recruiter and drawing card for other talented players.

That impact became apparent Thursday when slugger Nelson Cruz, a long-time friend of Cano and fellow Dominican standout, finalized his four-year, $58 million deal to join a Seattle club looking to continue its rise in the American League West.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners add starting pitcher Happ in deal for Saunders

Seattle gets 'left-hander with experience' to address one of top offseason goals

Mariners add starting pitcher Happ in deal for Saunders

SEATTLE -- Looking to add veteran depth to one of the American League's top pitching staffs, the Mariners acquired left-hander J.A. Happ from the Blue Jays in exchange for outfielder Michael Saunders, the club announced on Wednesday.

Coming on the heels of an agreement with free-agent slugger Nelson Cruz, which is expected to be formally announced Thursday at an 11 a.m. PT news conference, the move checks off another box on general manager Jack Zduriencik's to-do list.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: What's next on Mariners' offseason agenda?

Beat reporter Greg Johns responds to questions from fans

Inbox: What's next on Mariners' offseason agenda?

Here's the latest in our Reader Inbox series before the Winter Meetings open Monday in San Diego. You can click here to submit a question of your own.

What's next for the Mariners? Do you think they're more likely to get Justin Upton or Matt Kemp?
-- Corey R., Bellevue, Wash.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prep shortstop Rodgers leads 2015 Draft class

Duke's Matuella, 2014 top pick Aiken follow Florida high school infielder on Top 50 list

Prep shortstop Rodgers leads 2015 Draft class

For the second time in their history, the Arizona Diamondbacks own the top pick in the First-Year Player Draft. The first time that happened, in 2005, they took a high school shortstop with a potent bat.

Ten years after grabbing Justin Upton, the D-backs could follow a similar path. Lake Mary (Fla.) High School shortstop Brendan Rodgers sits atop MLBPipeline.com's initial Draft Top 50 rankings, thanks to his three plus tools (bat, power, arm) complemented by two solid ones (speed, defense). Unlike Upton, who immediately moved to the outfield as a professional, Rodgers should remain at shortstop.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cano gets some help as Seattle signs Cruz

Cano gets some help as Seattle signs Cruz

SEATTLE -- General manager Jack Zduriencik made it clear from day one this offseason that the Mariners' top priority was to acquire a big right-handed hitter to put behind Robinson Cano in the lineup. The club has filled that need by signing free-agent slugger Nelson Cruz.

The four-year, $58 million deal was formally announced on Thursday by the Mariners, who introduced the slugger at a Safeco Field news conference.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Seager stays humble amid $100 million deal, lofty praise

Calling seven-year contract 'a blessing,' third baseman motivated to improve, win in Seattle

Seager stays humble amid $100 million deal, lofty praise

SEATTLE -- Despite having just put his name on a seven-year, $100 million contract, Kyle Seager insisted he was the same guy on Wednesday. The same small-town kid from North Carolina who just loves baseball.

As a player who has worked hard to develop from a third-round Draft pick in 2009 to an American League All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner this past season, Seager knows what got him to this point. And the only change he sees in becoming a $100 million player is taking away some of the off-field pressures that come with worrying about the next looming contract.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Saunders sorry to leave Seattle, happy to play in homeland

Saunders sorry to leave Seattle, happy to play in homeland

SEATTLE -- Michael Saunders is leaving the only professional baseball club he's ever known, but not without wanting to make one thing clear after being traded on Wednesday for Toronto left-hander J.A. Happ.

Although there has been talk this offseason of unhappiness between Saunders and the Mariners, the 27-year-old outfielder said it won't be easy leaving Seattle despite joining a club that plans to play him every day in left field and figures to be a strong contender in the American League East.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Seager ignored his manager's call to change a diaper

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Seager ignored his manager's call to change a diaper

On Tuesday night, Kyle Seager and the Mariners finalized a seven-year extension that will pay the third baseman a cool $100 million. Soon after hearing the news, M's skipper Lloyd McClendon dialed up Seager to congratulate him, only to find his call ignored.

What was Seager doing when McClendon called? Was he big-shotting the coach? Had Seager dunked his cell phone into a bottle of champagne that cost roughly what most pay for four years of private college tuition? Was he already touring Europe on a yacht and had forgotten to buy an international phone plan?

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Jackson ready to rebound in 2015 for revamped Mariners

Center fielder looks to move past late-season struggles after being acquired by Seattle

Jackson ready to rebound in 2015 for revamped Mariners

SEATTLE -- Among the items not on the Mariners' shopping list as they prepare for next week's Winter Meetings in San Diego are a center fielder or a leadoff hitter. The club feels it filled those needs last July with the addition of Austin Jackson by trade from the Tigers, though fans who watched the 27-year-old struggle through much of the season's final two months with Seattle might not feel so assured.

Manager Lloyd McClendon was Jackson's mentor in Detroit when the youngster broke in with the Tigers, working as his hitting coach and confidant for his first four seasons in the Majors. After McClendon moved to Seattle to take over the Mariners, he welcomed the July 31 trade that reunited him with the smooth-striding center fielder.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners tender contracts to all but Rivero

Mariners tender contracts to all but Rivero

SEATTLE -- Carlos Rivero has yet to play a game for the Mariners after being claimed off waivers from the Red Sox last month, but the 26-year-old infielder was not tendered a contract prior to Tuesday night's deadline.

Rivero thus becomes a free agent and can sign with any other club or possibly return to the Mariners on a Minor League deal.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Mariners add Cruz without losing any talent

Free-agent deal helps balance lineup, brings much-needed pop to DH slot

Mariners add Cruz without losing any talent

What has to be understood about the Mariners is that they are looking to win now. However, they do not want to do it at the expense of the future.

General manager Jack Zduriencik is doing an impressive juggling act in balancing the two agendas. Seattle wants to make sure the club's young assets are taken care of. That's why third baseman Kyle Seager is set to finalize a seven-year, $100 million deal once he passes a physical.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Seattle videographer travels world helping those in need

Vo takes heartfelt and unique approach -- in a cow suit -- to charitable work

Seattle videographer travels world helping those in need

SEATTLE -- Her name is Tan Vo, and around Safeco Field, many fans know her simply as the video-camera person who roams the stands and can get their faces up on the big screen. But as Vo knows, there is a story behind every person you run across in this world just waiting to be told.

And as the holiday season approaches and folks gather for Thanksgiving, the story of Tan Vo is well worth hearing.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Mariners looking past short-term success with Seager

Seattle searching for right-handed bat after locking up third baseman

Mariners looking past short-term success with Seager

A year ago, the Seattle Mariners made it known they were looking to be a factor in the battle for a postseason spot, signing second baseman Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240 million deal and adding closer Fernando Rodney with a two-year, $14 million deal off the free-agent market.

And having come up one victory short of advancing to October, the talk this offseason has been their search for a proven right-handed bat to plop into the middle of a heavily left-handed lineup. Focused as they may be on "now" mentality, however, the Mariners haven't lost sight of their long-term mantra.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.