Inbox: Any chance of Miller moving from short to outfield?

Beat reporter Greg Johns fields fans' questions

Inbox: Any chance of Miller moving from short to outfield?

Here's the latest in our Inbox series. You can click here to submit a question of your own.

Is there anything to the rumor of Brad Miller moving to the outfield and where did that come from?
-- Caleb F., Bellingham, Wash.

Manager Lloyd McClendon talked about Miller being a possible option in the outfield both late last season and again after the season ended. When Chris Taylor came up and played well at shortstop, Miller did a little pregame work in the outfield in the final month and drew some rave reviews for his natural athleticism from outfield coach Andy Van Slyke.

Miller has never played outfield other than a handful of games in his high school days and Seattle's acquisition of Seth Smith obviously lessens the need for a left-handed-hitting option in right field. At most, I could see Miller getting a little work in the outfield this spring in case he's needed for a utility role. But my expectation is that he and Taylor will both be given every opportunity to compete for the starting shortstop job in camp and that will be the primary focus.

What happened exactly with Michael Saunders? Trading an outfielder who can hit, which we desperately needed, for another pitcher was a questionable move. Was Saunders a bad clubhouse guy?
-- Jack L., Spokane, Wash.

Saunders was definitely not a bad clubhouse guy, as I've seen some people suggest. Nothing could be further from the truth. He's a quality, stand-up guy who loved being part of the Mariners, on and off the field. He also took injuries harder than anybody I've ever been around. He wanted to play. And that appears to be the biggest issue.

Blue Jays add Saunders, Smoak

Saunders wanted to be an everyday answer and the Mariners didn't see him in that regard. They wanted to upgrade offensively and saw right field and designated hitter as two spots to do so. Now Saunders will get a chance to play regularly in Toronto and Seattle added depth to its rotation in J.A. Happ. The Mariners also brought in a combo of Smith and Justin Ruggiano who they feel will provide more consistent offense in right field. And like all roster moves, we'll have to wait and see how it plays out.

Why don't the Mariners have a mobile app like the Seahawks or other sports teams? They're a great way to get news, updates, schedules, press releases, pics, social media and more.
-- Chris C., Bremerton, Wash.

The Mariners mobile app is MLB At-Bat, which is very good. As part of that app, you can sign up for the Mariners.

When is FanFest?
-- Jeffrey D., Sedro Woolley, Wash.

It's Jan. 24-25, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. PT both days at Safeco Field.

The inside-the-park home run is probably the most exciting play in baseball, but I can't remember the last one by the Mariners. Any help there?
-- Joey N., Yakima, Wash.

That would be Willie Bloomquist at Minute Maid Park off Houston's Wandy Rodriguez on June 25, 2007. You'd think with the spacious outfield at Safeco, it would be a more likely occurrence. But the Mariners hit 15 inside-the-park homers in the Kingdome from 1977-99, I suppose because of the artificial turf and higher fences leading to big bounces, but have just one in 16 years at Safeco -- Adrian Beltre on July 23, 2006 off Boston's Mike Timlin. The Mariners have hit just six on the road in franchise history.

Is there any way fans can petition the Mariners to retire Edgar Martinez's number?
-- David H., Sedro Woolley, Wash.

Not sure a petition will change anything, but rest assured the Mariners are aware of Edgar's popularity. Last I checked, there is a street named after him right outside the ballpark and a restaurant bearing his name down the left-field line. To date, the club hasn't retired any player's number and its guidelines state that "The Mariners plan to retire uniform numbers only very selectively and subject to substantially higher expectations than those applied to the Mariners Hall of Fame."

Those guidelines say a player must have either been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and been in a Mariners uniform for at least five years, or come close to such an election and spent his entire career or a substantial portion of his career with the Mariners. And no one is eligible until after they've been voted on once for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Randy Johnson obviously is a strong candidate now that he's eligible, though his 51 was later worn by Ichiro Suzuki, so that'll make for a potential dual honor after Ichiro retires. And Ken Griffey Jr. will be eligible after this coming year. Martinez clearly is in the conversation as well and it'll be interesting to see how that falls. Those decisions are made by the board of directors, a seven-person group representing the club's owners.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.