So who is Brendan Ryan and what is he going to do with the Mariners?
A 7th round pick of the Cardinals in 2003, Ryan, 29 in March, went to Lewis and Clark College. In 2009 for the Cards he hit .292, but slumped in .223 last season.
The Mariners traded 21 year old minor league pitcher, Maikel Cleto, 4-9, 6.16 e.r.a. for High Desert last season to get Ryan. So what will they do with him?
One scenario has Ryan, who can play 2b, 3b, and ss, playing 2b with Figgins moving to third. Ackley begins season in Tacoma and if he continues to develop he is brought up in mid season.
But if Ackley has super spring and wins the job, Ryan can back up three spots or start at shortstop if Jack Wilson goes on the DL yet again, assuming, of course, he is with the team next spring.
Eventually the M’s may be looking at Mangini and Ackley for 3b and 2b, so what Ryan does for the moment is give the Mariners lots of options to play with during spring training.
Things have a way of working out, so flexibility and options are a good thing for the Mariners.
Ryan may be another brick in the wall, but last season that wall crumbled faster than the famed wall of Jericho.
If he hits .220 again then it will be another trade bust. Mariner fans are used to free agent and trade busts; it is part of our heritage.
I have a feeling the M’s are heating up the winter stove for more moves. They might be minor like Ryan, or Olivo, and really minor like Cust, but staying pat is not an option.