LLOYD MCCLENDON SEES SEATTLE AS GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY
“I know the last three or four years have been very tough and very disappointing. But I was asked a question earlier today: Does this team remind you at all of the Pittsburgh Pirates? And I said no, it reminds me of the Detroit Tigers. And I mean that sincerely. This team reminds me so much of the 2006 Tigers and the potential that was with that team. I'm really excited and honored to be here. Hopefully we'll do great things here.”
"Felix, Felix and Felix. C'mon, this guy is unbelievable. He's a tremendous asset for any organization, and what he does is awfully special. And when you can back it up with a guy like [Hisashi] Iwakuma, that's something to work with. And a kid named [Taijuan] Walker that is going to be pretty special, and [James] Paxton has a chance to be special.
—McClendon, when asked what convinced him that the managerial position in Seattle was a “golden opportunity.” (Greg Johns, MLB.com)
“Oh, I'm thrilled. There's no mixed emotions. It's a great opportunity for him with a lot of big arms out there. I think [the Mariners] have a great chance to get good quick."
—Former Tigers manager Jim Leyland, on Seattle’s hiring of McClendon. Leyland said at a press conference last month that he believed McClendon was ready to manage again.
“I was a young energetic manager that had my moments. I certainly tried to be a players' manager, quote-unquote. I think the players respected me. They understood that I was going to be out there and supporting them. But I think the biggest thing I got from that is get them ready and then get out of their way.”
—McClendon, on his time as Pittsburgh’s manager from 2001-2005.
“He’s such a genuine guy. I think his leadership skills are that much better. He’s always been that, but I think his three years with Jim (Tigers manager Jim Leyland) continued to help him grow. … This guy is prepared for the job.”
—Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik, on McClendon. (Geoff Baker, Seattle Times)
HOT STOVE HEATS UP
“Playing meaningful baseball was high in my priorities. Being back with that team and getting back with those guys that I grew comfortable with, that was definitely something. And I just wanted a fair deal, and I feel we worked toward it and we got it.”
—Rays outfielder David DeJesus, who resigned with the team earlier this week. (Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times)
“The timing of making decisions is by far the trickiest part of the offseason. We have to utilize all the information we have accumulated to that point to make the best decision possible while also appreciating the trickle-down effect of each move.”
—Rays Executive Vice President Andrew Friedman, on the timing difficulties associated with potentially resigning David Price. (Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times)
“I’ve played with him five years now and I think he’s the best second baseman in the game. … We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I’ve seen him a couple of times but you don’t want that to be the only thing you talk about with one of your friends, so I’m just hoping he can stay here and make the best decision for him and his family.”
—Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, on Robinson Cano’s free agency. (Stephen Lorenzo, New York Daily News)
“I feel we’re in a better position at the end of this season than we were at the end of the 2012 season. We have the ability to bring back our whole position club, a club that tied for fourth in the American League in runs scored and finished (tied) for fifth overall… We have seven quality major league alternatives in the starting rotation with Justin Masterson, Danny Salazar, Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister, Carlos Carrasco, Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer. And we have some talented pitchers in the back end of the bullpen.”
—Indians general manager Chris Antonetti, on his high expectations for the team’s offseason. (Paul Hoynes, Cleveland Plain Dealer)
—Quick, tweet about it before you run!
“We owe those guys. I think to get the opportunity to begin the payback for them winning the division the very first day of the season is a great opportunity for us.”
—Diamondbacks managing general partner Ken Kendrick, on Arizona’s rivalry with the Dodgers. The two clubs will open next season in Australia. (Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times)
“Having that hardware would be really cool, but for me, being the only pitcher in the category lets me know I did my job, that I hit a goal I was striving for. That from [the voters] perspective, I was the best rookie pitcher in the league. That's all I can do. So honestly, like, I'm good. I'm good with coming in third place, because I was the only pitcher on the list.”
—Rays pitcher Chris Archer, on where he thinks he will finish in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. (Bill Chastain, MLB.com)
“I love the way he plays the game. He plays the game the way it should be played. He is all-out, every day, all the time, every game. He’s paid for it by getting injured and running into walls. The greatest compliment I have heard is Mr. Lerner, the night he ran into the wall in L.A., asked how the wall was. Everybody loves that about him. Now can we be a little smarter sometimes? Sure. And not necessarily run into that wall? Of course. The kid’s 21 years old: let him go. This is a stallion. This is a guy that is ready to just explode. We’re going to try to give him the game plan to do that.”
—New Nationals manager Matt Williams on Bryce Harper. (Adam Kilgore, Washington Post)
“I got the money. Now I just have to focus and play baseball.”
—Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez, who agreed to a four-year $12.5 million deal with the club on Thursday. (Michael Florek, Dallas Morning News)
“I think there's some value to some of that. I can tell you that players do not like to be inundated with numbers. They don't want to know what a pitcher's [tendencies are], what percentage of fastballs he throws in a 2-1 count. It's just not usable information. But I think if you can take some of that statistical information and grind it down into a usable piece of information that you can hand off to a player, I think that can be important. I don't think it has to be one school or the other.”
—Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, predicting his managerial tendencies. (Jason Beck, MLB.com)
“Crick is a bulldog like Cain. I think he's going to be in the same mold once he matures.”
—Giants minor league pitching coordinator Bert Bradley, on prospect Kyle Crick. (Henry Schulman, San Francisco Chronicle)
“A lot of people have asked me, within the organization, ‘What do you think?’ The biggest thing, regardless of body size, is you look at the feet and athleticism of the player, and the arm strength and ability to contort the body, throw the ball on the run. Bogey can do all of the above. All signs point to me that he can be a big league shortstop and be that for a long time.”
—Red Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield, on whether rookie phenom Xander Bogaerts is better suited to third base or shortstop. (Scott Lauber, Boston Herald)
“I see the pitches I didn’t hit, the [fly] balls I didn’t get to. Bad jumps, getting fooled by pitches, bad throws… “I’d say everything. I can be better at everything.”
—Twins prospect Byron Buxton, on the parts of his game he wants to improve in the Arizona Fall League. (Phil Miller, Minneapolis Star Tribune)
“No one should have to go through their life with a burden. He could still do a lot of things—hopefully do some positive. I would hope that he would feel some remorse, but if he were to straighten his life out and come back and make good—that would be all right with me.”
—74-year-old Tony Tufano, on former Padres prospect Matt Bush. Tufano was the victim of Bush’s drunken driving hit-and-run crash in 2012, for which the former No. 1 overall pick was sentenced to four years and three months in prison. (Matt Calkins, San Diego Tribune)