PEORIA, Ariz. — Seattle Mariners broadcaster Dave Valle, a former catcher, is getting back into uniform with the organization as the new manager at Everett, the club’s short-season affiliate in the Northwest League.
Valle, 53, spent the first 10 seasons of a 13-year big league career with the Mariners (1984-93). He joined the club’s broadcast team in 1997. He later served as an analyst on MLB Network.
“We’re very happy to have Dave Valle on board with the Mariners,” said Chris Gwynn, the club’s director of player development. “He’s a great pick-up for us — someone with a lot of experience to help our kids get better.
“And he’s also a local name, so guys can get excited about talking to someone who actually lived the dream of getting to play with the Mariners.”
The club confirmed Valle’s position while announcing the on-field staff for their short-season affiliates.
The remainder of the Everett staff consists of pitching coach Nasusel Cabrera, coach Scott Steinmann and trainer Shane Zdebiak. A performance specialist will be added later.
Valle was in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday on personal business and was unavailable for comment. He interviewed last fall for the Mariners’ managerial opening that eventually went to Lloyd McClendon.
The Everett AquaSox finished 44-32 last season and won the North Division under manager Rob Mummau before losing in the first round of the Northwest League playoffs to the Vancouver Canadians, an affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Mummau will serve this season as the manager at rookie-level Pulaski in the Appalachian League.
The Mariners chose Valle in the second round of the 1978 draft, and he spent seven years in the minors before making his big league debut. He also played for the Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers before retiring after the 1996 season.
In 970 career games, Valle batted .237 with 77 home runs and 350 RBIs. A skilled defensive catcher, he had a .992 fielding percentage while throwing out 36 percent of all base stealers.
Mariners president Kevin Mather, general manager Jack Zduriencik and other club officials will participate Thursday in ceremonies to open the organization’s new academy in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic.
“It is understood by every fan of Major League Baseball just how important the Dominican Republic has been to the welfare of our fine game,” Zduriencik said.
The new Dominican academy is a 24-acre complex that includes three full-sized fields and housing for 80 prospects in addition to coaches and trainers.
MINOR LEAGUER BANNED
Minor league outfielder Cavan Cohoes received a 50-game suspension for violations of baseball’s drug policy.
Cohoes, 20, battled injuries since his selection in the ninth round of the 2011 draft. He spent most of last season at rookie-level Peoria, where he compiled a .151/.270/.163 slash in 31 games.blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners