Mariners Notebook: It might take time to sign first-round pick Mike Zunino
A busy schedule that includes postseason awards ceremonies might postpone the signing of first-round draft pick Mike Zunino of Florida.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Mike Zunino, the Mariners' first-round draft pick, should sign with the team soon, but the process could take until July because of a busy schedule for the University of Florida catcher.
Zunino, picked third overall by the Mariners this month, is a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award, to be handed out Wednesday night in Wichita, Kan. The award goes to the top catcher in college baseball.
He is also a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the top amateur player in the country. That ceremony is to be televised live on ESPN on July 6, a few days before teams break for the All-Star Game.
Sources say the Mariners have parameters of a deal worked out with Zunino, but want to get him to Seattle for a physical and to introduce him to the media. There had been speculation that a deal had been worked out in advance, given the Mariners' decision to pay bonuses to some picks in the first 10 rounds who went higher than their recommended slot.
New draft rules in place this year limit the total amount of money each team can spend on picks from the top 10 rounds. The Mariners had a limit of $8.2 million going into the process and left themselves just over $4 million of room to sign Zunino without incurring penalties under the new system.
Carp not yet
ready to return
Injured Mariners outfielder Mike Carp was at Safeco Field doing injury rehabilitation work before Monday night's game. Carp was eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Monday, but manager Eric Wedge said he is still "a ways away" from rebounding off his latest shoulder injury.
Carp sprained his shoulder on the opening day of the season in Japan and struggled a month later when he finally returned. Wedge said he hopes Carp can start swinging a bat again within the next week or so.
"We'll keep him away from the throwing at first, just work him back with the bat," Wedge said.
• Ichiro had a single in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to six games. He hasn't been held hitless since getting a rare day off in the opener of a series in Arizona last week.