And the Mariners are on the clock

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    Doug Martin

    Its media day in Seattle and GM DD Martin has set up shop for a small press conference following his team successful month of May

    DD, obviously you have to be pleased with the first couple of months of the season[

    (smiles) Well so far we are right in the thick of an early season race at 26-23 and only a game and a half or so back. Its great that it is Memorial Day weekend last week and we are not already thinking about next season. Last year was a disappointment that we did not perform better than we did, but the good thing is next week we have the #1 pick in the draft.

    Speaking of that #1 pick, has the club made a decision about who they will take?

    There are a lot of good position players in this draft and it really is a good overall class in that regard. We are still looking at the prospects as they finish their seasons and we have not made a final decision yet.

    If you had, you probably wouldn’t tell us yet anyway, right?

    Its a little early to tell, but we will make an announcement before the actual start of the draft.

    Come on DD, give us a little bit here, the town is really starting to buzz a bit about the team for the 1st time since opening night 1977.

    Guys, you know that I feel very strongly about starting pitching and believe that is an area where we can improve. There is one starter out there that we might consider taking, but really the top of the board has 3 position players. I think it is safe to say that our 1st overall pick in the draft will come from the following players. Those players are Tom Candiotti, Tony Fernandez, Daryl Strawberry and Eric Davis. No matter who we decide to take, we will be adding a good solid young prospect to our organization and we will look forward to them joining us this year and getting use to pro ball and then when their skills are ready, coming up to the big club and helping us achieve our goal of winning the AL West and going to the playoffs.

    Now to talk about the buzz in the town about this ball-club, that is what we want. We are doing everything we can to bring a winner to town and I think we showed that in the off-season with some of our moves. Bringing in proven winners like George Foster and Dusty Baker along with bringing back Willie Horton, not only addressed one of our areas we needed to improve on the most and that was power run production, but it shows that we are serious about what we have said we are going to do. We were seriously in on the bidding for several other free agents like Fred Lynn and were down to the last with Don Money. We offered a larger contract to Jeff Boroughs earlier in the process than what he ended up signing for. We made a significant trade for Ray Burris who has been great for us this season so far, and we have secured long term contracts with Julio Cruz, who leads the league in steals, Rupert Jones who is a fantastic young outfielder and Floyd Bannister to lead our pitching staff. All in all I would say the future in Seattle is very bright and there is no more beautiful city in the country when the sun is shinning bright.

    One last question, will you do anything to strengthen this year’s team in order for it to make a serious run for the division?

    Well I will say this, it takes 2 to tango and we are constantly looking for ways that make sense to move this team forward. It is still early in the year and a lot of things can change and there are a lot of teams in 2 of the divisions that are highly competitive so that tends to put a drain on the number of people who are looking to next year. I will say this, we are not cash constrained and we will do what we can to win this year, without hurting the club. But our long term goal is to build a team that has the ability to contend and win each year and we will not over leverage one season, at this point, that could set us back in future seasons. But if the right deal is out there, we will not hesitate to be there.

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