Wedge talks about Cust, Ichiro and other hot topics

The Mariners added some power — and likely some strikeouts — on Wednesday by coming to terms with free-agent Jack Cust.

I talked to the former Oakland A’s designated hitter Wednesday and he’s excited about the opportunity after feeling a lack of love in the Bay Area. Getting sent to the minors at the start of last year left a mark on Cust and he’s thrilled for a fresh start.

You can read that story here.

New Mariners manager Eric Wedge just spoke with the media at the Winter Meetings and said nothing is finalized yet, but he’s happy to have the added bat on the way.

“When we talk about what we’re trying to do offensively, you’ll hear me talk about quality at-bats, good at-bats, strong at-bats, making good outs,” Wedge said. “Working and making i tough on that pitcher and he does a lot of that. It takes time to establish that discipline and put up a good at-bat, stick your nose in their with two strikes and do some of these things.

“If we can get a few other people to help us do that and our young people can watch that, it’s going to help us.”

Wedge also said Ichiro would definitely be his leadoff hitter and he’s also expecting big things from Chone Figgins in a more comfortable situation in his second go-round. He said Figgins remains the second baseman at this point and that Dustin Ackley won’t necessarily be ready to start the season in the big leagues.

And even with Cust on the way,he sounds like there’s a place for Milton Bradley.

“I’m not going to speak on Jack right now, but with Milton Bradley, he’s a guy who can do some DHing for us, but also bounce in the outfield for us. Milton can play left field, right field. Being a switch hitter he gives us great options from both sides of the plate. The health issues for Milton are the biggest question.”

Actually the biggest question might be how Bradley works with Wedge after a dust-up between the two back in ’04 led to Bradley’s release from the Indians.

“I had a good conversation with Milton,” Wedge said. “I think he and I both have a great advantage this time around because he knows what I’m all about and I’m very familiar with him. Obviously we have some history, but we’re goign to work that to our advantage this time around.

“I know that’s what I want and what he wants. That was many moons ago when we were together.”

 

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