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In a new team podcast, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto says that the club will make a "full-court press" for Shohei Ohtani.

Dipoto also says that the team would be willing to play slugger Nelson Cruz a few days in the outfield to accomodate Ohtani being able to DH on the days he's not pitching. The Mariners have long been considered a candidate for Ohtani because of their history with Japanese players (Ichiro Suzuki, Hishashi Iwakuma, Kazuhiro Sasaki, just to name a few), but also because they have an obvious need for starting pitching. The fact that Seattle would also be willing to let him hit, at least according to the podcast, is also something that could serve them well in their bid for the 23-year-old. It wouldn't be a major upset at all if Ohtani ends up playing in Seattle in 2018.
Nov 22 - 10:02 PM

Jose Martinez is using the Venezuelan Winter League to familiarize himself at first base.

Martinez has spent most of his career in the outfield, and while first base may not be as hard as Ron Washington said it was in that movie, there's still a learning curve. The move is another way to get Martinez in the lineup, as he was one of the few pleasant surprises at the big league level for St Louis last year.
Nov 22 - 9:43 PM

The Phillies are considering Chase Utley to become their new bench coach, according to Fox 29's Howard Eskin in Philadelphia.

The Phillies still have two more spots on their coaching staff to fill after hiring Pedro Guerrero to be the assistant hitting coach on Wednesday. Utley hasn't actually retired yet, but if he were to hang up his playing cleats, this would be a fun move. Utley was one of the best second baseman in all of baseball in his time with Philadelphia, and is still one of the most popular players in the city. He also has a long reputation of being a smart, respected player in the clubhouse, so a transition into coaching could be a natural fit.
Nov 22 - 9:17 PM

Pedro Guerrero was named assistant hitting coach of the Phillies on Wednesday.

Guerrero comes to the Phillies after spending the last two years as a minor-league bench coach in the Dodger system. At 28-years-old, he's one of the youngest coaches on a major-league roster this year. The move also likely signifies that Rick Kranitz will be the pitching coach. Kranitz was hired two weeks ago but wasn't given a specified role. Since Philadelphia has filled all but two of their seven coaching positions and haven't named a pitching coach yet, it would only make sense that he would assume the role after being the assistant pitching coach in 2016.
Nov 22 - 8:28 PM

Baseball America's Bob Dutton reports that Kyle Lewis is still dealing with lingering issues in his right knee.

Lewis was forced to leave the AFL at the end of October because of soreness in his knee, and while there wasn't any structural damage, it sounds like this could be a chronic issue. The 2016 first-round pick has more talent than any prospect in the Seattle system, but the question is now if he'll ever be able to truly recover from the horrific ACL tear that has seen him miss all but 49 games in his two years as a professional. There's just as much risk in Lewis's profile as there is reward at this point.
Nov 22 - 7:44 PM
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