Two years into a five-year, $64 million contract, Adrian Beltre has produced a .262 average, 44 home runs, and 176 RBIs. However, after the All Star break in 2006, Beltre slugged .552 with a whopping 18 home runs. Does this strong second half bode well for a turn-around in 2007, or will Mariners fans have to deal with 'A-Drain' once again? This blog intends to follow the 2007 season for Adrian Beltre, and the Seattle Mariners, and promises to hold no punches.

Will you sign him all ready?


Goddammit, Bavasi and Lincoln. Quit wasting time and sign Ichiro to a long-term contract all ready.


Passan overlooks Adam Jones


In his latest Yahoo! column, Jeff Passan has a list of about 20 rookies poised to make an impact in 2007. Nowhere on that list is uberprospect Adam Jones for the Seattle Mariners, nor any Mariners rookies despite the brightness the Mariners corps of young pitchers (Ryan Feierabend, Jon Huber, Eric O'Flaherty) brought to the conclusion of an otherwise dreary 2006 season.

Granted, the Mariners' outfield may be locked in with Ibanez-Ichiro-Guillen, thus delegating Jeremy Reed to the fourth outfield position at the start of the season. But mark my words, Jones' bat will supplant Reed's at some point in the season, and the best thing the Mariners' f.o. could do is play Reed enough so that he maximizes his trade potential....

Yahoo AL West preview


Yahoo's Tim Brown provides an early analysis of the AL West, under the headline "Has the A's Time passed?"

Here's his take on the Mariners prospects for 2006:
Seattle Mariners

First impression: The past three years haven't been kind to the Mariners, who have gradually worked away from their 116-win 2001 season to a regular place at the bottom of the division. They've had Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson for two years and in 2006 scored fewer runs than anyone but the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, which was about the same as in 2005, when they scored fewer runs than anyone but the Minnesota Twins. While adding Miguel Batista, Jeff Weaver and Horacio Ramirez to the starting rotation, GM Bill Bavasi addressed the offensive issues by signing Jose Guillen, who batted .216 last season before undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery, and trading for Jose Vidro, whose most productive days are behind him.

Competition: The rotation is set with Felix Hernandez, Jarrod Washburn, Batista, Weaver and Ramirez, as is the back end of the bullpen with J.J. Putz and a healthy (they hope) Chris Reitsma. And, considering their last-place finish, the Mariners are surprisingly established with their position players. Veteran left-hander Arthur Rhodes will try to win a place in the bullpen and right-hander Cha Seung Baek is slotted for a middle-relief role or Triple-A. Jeremy Reed's wrist has healed, meaning he'll probably be the fourth outfielder.

Healing: There is little doubt Guillen hits when he is happy, healthy and focused. The issue has been aligning the three, as the Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds, A's, Angels and Washington Nationals discovered over the past eight seasons. He hit 31 home runs in 2003, a season spent in Cincinnati and Oakland, and drove in 104 runs in Anaheim the following season, which actually ended (badly) about a week short of a full season. The Mariners believe he is recovered from surgery. Happy and focused will have to play out.

Next: Outfielder Adam Jones, 21, a pitching prospect in high school, a shortstop in his first three professional seasons and a center fielder since, could be the next big thing in the Pacific Northwest. His position in the outfield depends on whether Ichiro Suzuki remains in Seattle after this season, but he has the arm and developing power to play right as well.

Yahoo! readers don't hold out much hope for the Mariners winning their division this season- only 10% pick them to be division champs...

Also, Yahoo! announced that the A's have signed Shannon Stewart, who is a more than capable replacement for Jay Payton in Oakland's Athletics. He may not be as fast as he once was, but the A's don't run anyway, so that wouldn't matter.


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