Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik confirmed to MLB.com today that the M’s are, indeed, going to make a play for Prince Fielder. With all requisite caution, of course:
“There’s no question we could use a big bat in the middle of our lineup,” said the M’s general manager, “but where is your limitation and threshold? We’ll go down that road and experiment and see where it ends up, but until things get more definitive, we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Obviously the Mariners could use his bat. The question is why Fielder would want to go to Seattle? Not the best hitting environment. Certainly not national exposure central. And the team is not yet a winner.
But of course, Fielder is a Boras client, so if Seattle bids the highest …
The Braves placed closer Arodys Vizcaino on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, per a team announcement on Sunday. The assignment is retroactive to June 21. While the right-hander will be eligible to return to the team within the week, it’s not clear yet how long his recovery will take.
Vizcaino, 27, has already been sidelined a week after experiencing discomfort in his right shoulder. While he was treated with a cortisone injection earlier this month, it doesn’t appear to have had the effect the Braves were hoping for. The injury derailed what has otherwise been a productive season for the right-hander: Through his first 30 appearances, he logged 15 saves with a 1.82 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 10.0 SO/9 over 29 2/3 innings. Per MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, the club is prepared to give more closing duties to rookie left-hander A.J. Minter as Vizcaino takes some time to recover, though it seems conceivable that the up-and-coming Evan Phillips will earn a few looks in the spot as well.
In corresponding moves, infielder Phil Gosselin was designated for assignment and right-hander Phillips was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett. The 23-year-old righty is poised to make his major league debut after four years in the Braves’ system. He currently sports a 2.31 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 12.9 SO/9 through 35 innings at the Triple-A level this season.