BOSTON – Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik says there’s a strategy behind his doing nothing at this year’s trade deadline.
With the Mariners playing winning baseball in July and hitting the ball at a torrid pace for a stretch, Zduriencik was loath to break that combination up. He added that it may also be easier to offer contract extensions to some veteran hitters if they are still around once the season ends.
“When you let a guy leave, it’s harder to get him back,’’ Zduriencik said. “Once you break your marriage up and all of a sudden you want to go back and ask that player to come back, at the end that’s much harder to do. He probably feels somewhat betrayed and now you’re basically starting all over again.
“The fact that the guys are here, certainly they have the right to walk. But we also have the right to have the first opportunity to sign them if we choose to do that.’’
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The Mariners made a minor deal on Wednesday, sending Class AAA infielder Robert Andino to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named. Andino was acquired from the Orioles for outfielder Trayvon Robinson last winter, but was ineffective for the Mariners and outrighted to AAA in late May.
Zduriencik said he’d had both direct and indirect conversations with some players about possibly staying. Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse and Raul Ibanez are three veteran players the Mariners could have dealt by Wednesday’s deadline, but the Mariners are also thought to possibly want to keep a couple of them.
“Again, I think from an organizational standpoint, there is a commitment from us to the players,’’ Zduriencik said. “And I hope that this message, the fact that we kept this group of guys together, I hope they together realize that, ‘OK, so we believe in what you’re doing. We believe that you guys can compete. And let’s continue to do that. Let’s continue to play good baseball.’ ”
When it came to his veteran bats, Zduriencik said he made things very clear initially with would-be suitors: If they wanted him to “cut the cord’’ then “there is a price to pay for that.’’
Interim manager Robby Thompson added: “We weren’t going to give guys away for some ‘A’ ball prospect.’’
• Shortstop Brendan Ryan was initially thought to be one of the team’s bigger trade pieces heading into the deadline. But nobody picked him up, even though he doesn’t factor into the team’s plans much any more.
Ryan was limited to 19 at-bats in July, forced from his position by the arrival of Brad Miller.
“You never know what’s going to happen in this game,’’ Ryan said. “It just is what it is for now.’’
The Mariners could still try to deal Ryan before Aug. 31, but he would have to clear waivers first. The lack of a trade could suggest some teams are waiting to put an August claim in on Ryan, hoping the Mariners will just let him go.
• Second baseman Nick Franklin struck out his first three times up and went 0 for 7 Wednesday. But on Tuesday, he hit a double for his 23rd extra-base hit of the season. Only two other Mariners have had more extra-base hits their first year: Alvin Davis with 27 in 1984 en route to winning AL Rookie of the Year honors and Jose Cruz Jr. with 25 in 1997.
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or firstname.lastname@example.org