In the news:
Mariners lose longtime scout Bob Engle, fire Guerrero
Bob Engle, the team's vice president of international operations who helped sign Felix Hernandez, informed the team he will not sign an extension when his contract expires this month.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The Mariners have lost two key members of their successful international scouting staff.
Bob Engle, the Mariners' vice president of international operations and the man responsible for signing Felix Hernandez, among numerous others, informed the team that he will not sign an extension when his contract expires on Oct. 31. Engle confirmed to The Seattle Times that he was offered a new contract from the Mariners. He's going to take the rest of October to decide whether to retire (he turns 66 on Nov. 1) or take another position, either as an adviser or in some other capacity, with another club.
"It was a tough decision, something I've been going over and over in my mind," Engle said from his Tampa, Fla., home. "I think it was the right decision. I'll take time off and decide what to do next. I've been going up and down highways and getting on and off planes since 1974. It was about time to step back and reassess where I'm at."
Meanwhile, Baseball America reported that Patrick Guerrero, the Mariners' Latin American supervisor, has been fired. The Dominican Republic-based Guerrero has worked closely with Engle in Latin America.
Engle was vague about the reasons for cutting his ties with the Mariners, a team he has worked for since Jan. 28, 2000, when he was hired as senior adviser to then-GM Pat Gillick.
"Sometimes, organizations want to change or realign," he said. "Perhaps it was time for them. It's a perfect time to step back and step away for a little."
Engle has been responsible for a steady stream of international players that have helped the Mariners (and other teams), including, Hernandez, Asdrubal Cabrera, Michael Pineda, Jose Lopez, Shin-Soo Choo and Erasmo Ramirez.
Engle said his fondest memories of his Mariners time are the relationships he developed, particularly in establishing academies in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.
"We had such a great group, such a tremendous group of scouts, particularly the people in the two academies," he said. "You don't hear much about them, but they did yeoman's work. That, to me, was the most fulfilling, the business relationships that grew into friendships. You can't measure that."
Felix Hernandez is one of 10 finalists for the 48th Hutch Award, to be given Jan. 30 at Safeco Field. Other nominees for the award, voted on by past winners, are Alex Gordon (Royals); Ryan Ludwick (Reds); Brandon McCarthy (A's); Logan Morrison (Marlins); Jake Peavy (White Sox); Dan Uggla (Braves); Rickie Weeks (Brewers); Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals); and Barry Zito (Giants).
The Hutch Award is given annually to the MLB player who "best exemplifies the honor, courage and dedication" of Seattle's Fred Hutchinson, whose brother, Bill, founded the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.