Mariners roster and schedule
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Seattle Mariners roster and schedule for 2020 season

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The 2020 MLB season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. Next up: The Seattle Mariners roster and schedule:

MARINERS ROSTER (projected) 

When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.

In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Mariners roster to begin the season, give or take:

Catchers

Tom Murphy
Austin Nola

Infielders:

Evan White
Shed Long Jr.
Dee Gordon
J.P. Crawford
Kyle Seager
Tim Lopes
Daniel Vogelbach

Outfielders

Kyle Lewis
Jake Fraley
Mallex Smith
Braden Bishop
José Marmolejos

Starters

Marco Gonzales
Taijuan Walker
Yusei Kikuchi
Kendall Graveman
Justus Sheffield
Justin Dunn

Relievers

Austin Adams
Dan Altavilla
Brandon Brennan
Nestor Cortes
Carl Edwards Jr.
Taylor Guilbeau
Matt Magill
Anthony Misiewicz
Yohan Ramirez
Erik Swanson


BREAKDOWN:

The seemingly never-ending cycle of rebuild-failed promise-selloff-rebuild continues apace in Seattle. It was a pretty quiet offseason for the Mariners, with GM Jerry Dipoto not engaging in his usual flurry of trades. Probably because all of the guys from the last would-be contending M’s squad had departed already or were allowed to simply walk away. Some minor signings took place — Kendall Graveman, Taijuan Walker, Carl Edwards Jr. — but that was basically it. Now Mariners fans wait for their farm system, which is now considered to be in the top half of all clubs’ systems, to begin to bear fruit. But that’s gonna be a while still.

In the meantime, Seattle will field some journeymen, some retreads, and will begin to work some of the young talent into the mix. And they will also, almost certainly, finish in last place in the AL West.

MARINERS SCHEDULE:

Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.

Mariners home stands will be July 31-August 9 (Athletics, Angels, Rockies), August 19-23 (Dodgers, Rangers), September 1-7 (Athletics, Rangers), and September 15-23 (Giants, Padres, Astros).

The entire Mariners roster and schedule can be seen here.

Angels’ Andrelton Simmons opts out of final 5 games

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has opted out of the remainder of the Los Angeles Angels’ season.

The Angels announced the four-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop’s decision Tuesday before they faced the San Diego Padres.

Los Angeles (24-31) is still technically in the playoff race with five games left in the regular season, and Simmons clearly caught the Angels by surprise, although the club said it respected his decision.

The 31-year-old Simmons, who can be a free agent this winter, is finishing his fifth year with the Angels. After spraining his ankle in late July and missing 22 games, Simmons is currently batting .297 with 10 RBIs while playing his usual stellar defense, albeit with four errors in 30 games.

“At this time, I feel this is the best decision for me and my family,” Simmons said in a statement. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we would like to sincerely thank the Angels organization and Angels fans for welcoming and making us feel at home.”

Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged he was caught by surprise when general manager Billy Eppler told him about Simmons’ decision Monday night after Simmons went 1 for 4 with an RBI single in the Angels’ home finale. Maddon texted Simmons, but hadn’t heard back by Tuesday afternoon.

“I’ve really enjoyed this guy a lot,” Maddon said. “I’m a big fan. This guy is a good baseball player, and I’ve enjoyed the conversations, too. It’s just unfortunate. He’s really a big part of what we’re doing right now.”

Simmons is a favorite of Angels fans for his defensive wizardry, and owner Arte Moreno has described Simmons as perhaps his favorite player to watch on the roster. Simmons has batted .281 with 36 homers and 281 RBIs during his five seasons with Los Angeles, and he won the Gold Glove in 2017 and 2018.

“He’s a thinking kind of a player, and I’ve enjoyed him a lot,” Maddon said.

Simmons will be a free agent this winter, and the Angels have an obvious replacement for him in David Fletcher, who has a .374 on-base percentage while regularly hitting leadoff for the Angels during his breakout major league season. Fletcher has been playing second base since Simmons’ return from injury.

But the Angels haven’t publicly closed the door on Simmons’ return, and he could be given a qualifying offer. Maddon has repeatedly said he would like Simmons to return in 2021 if possible.

The Angels haven’t had a winning season during Simmons’ five years in Anaheim, although Simmons said last week he wasn’t discouraged by the lack of team success. Simmons played his first four major league seasons in Atlanta, and he hasn’t appeared in the postseason since 2013.

Simmons also said he hadn’t been involved in any recent contract talks with the Angels, but he had enjoyed playing for the club. When asked if he wanted to return to the Halos, Simmons said he would have to “plead the fifth.”