Mariners Insider

Winter meetings loom ahead – and a few links

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on Nov. 30, 2009 at 8:14 am with 9 Comments »
November 30, 2009 10:37 am

 One week from today, the major leaugue winter meetings begin in Indianapolis, and not only will the Seattle Mariners get there early, they’ll be be in full let’s-make-a-deal mode.

GM Jack Zduriencik, his front office staff and manager Don Wakamatsu will fly in a full day or two early, and they’re hoping not to come home empty-handed.

With potential holes to fill at first base, third base and designated hitter, and the strong desire to bolster their starting rotation with a veteran, the Mariners have no shortage of targets.

They’d love to land right-hander Rich Harden, for instance. But most teams not in the running for Roy Halladay – or John Lackey – are after Harden. That includes the Twins, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Rangers and others.

Don’t expect the Mariners to land a Type A free agent, which would cost them a draft pick. Those picks are potential gold for a GM trying to restock the farm system with players who, like, might actually help the  franchise.  That almost certainly rules out free agents like Marco Scutaro, who’s looking for a multi-year deal.

Seattle is also in the market for a veteran catcher and no, Jamie Burke is not on their list.

Trades are the likeliest route to the players  Zduriencik wants to piece into his club, and that means dangling arms like Brandon Morrow and Mark Lowe.  Yes, they will try shopping Jose Lopez – again. It could also mean moving minor league infielder Carlos Triunfel in the right deal.

No, Zduriencik isn’t likely to give up draft picks or move promising prospects, but to fill specific needs he is open. Under his regime, however, you won’t see the best and brightest traded for, say, a Horacio Ramirez or Joe Borchard.

Want to play GM? Who would you target next week, what would you be willing to give up? Is there one free agent you’d be willing to spend big on, players – other than Felix Hernandez and Ichiro – you wouldn’t trade under any circumstances?

We’ve got a week to talk about. Let’s start.

And now, a few morning links:

  • Grady Sizemore, a Northwest product and the Indians center fielder, has begun legal action after photos of him – some of them of him half dressed – appeared on the internet. According to Sizemore, they were stolen from his girlfriend’s e-mail. That’s why so few sportswriters strip on-camera.
  • Reports that Florida ace Josh Johnson was available after the Marlins two-year contract offer was rejected apparently had no legs. Marlins GM Michael Hill said Johnson would be with the team in 2010.
  • The Texas Rangers would love to add Jermaine Dye’s bat to their lineup, but T.R. Sullivan speculates in his blog that Dye is going to land in San Francisco, not Arlington.
  • The always entertaining Joe Posnanski projects 10 players under 30 he believes will be in the Hall of Fame. One is Zack Grienke. None are Mariners.
  • For those who love spring training in Arizona, here’s a bit of news. The Cincinnati Reds new complex in Goodyear was finished on time and is now ready for its Cactus League debut March 6.
  • The  Chicago Cubs are ardent suitors for Detroit center fielder Curtis Granderson, but have told the Tigers which young players they won’t give up.
Leave a comment Comments → 9
  1. bigmike04 says:

    Jamie Burke service is not avaible as he just resign to minor league contract with Washington Nationals.

    Thought hey larry do you keep up with the minor league free agents wise? On baseball america it said Seattle Resign Steven Shell and Quiz is their any truth to that?

  2. Larry Larue says:

    mike: Guillermo Quiroz has re-signed with seattle, and shell is expected to but hasn’t yet.

  3. bigmike04 says:

    K but on Baseball America it says that Shell already have and do you know of any more of the minor league free agent they are targeting and are they expect to resign any of the ones they have?

  4. Larry, I don’t get the emphasis on adding a veteran catcher with Johnson & Moore. Are they expecting Johnson’s health issues to preclude playing for much of the year, or worse that he’s never going to be effective again?

    Otherwise paying for a 3rd catcher makes no sense to me.

  5. My top five position-player prospects to hang on to (absolutely unavailable):
    Dustin Ackley (natch!)
    Mike Saunders
    Matt Tui
    Adam Moore
    James Jones

    My top five pitching prospects to hang on to:
    Anthony Varvaro
    Josh Fields
    Eduardo Paredes
    Michael Pineda
    Kenn Kasperes

    My top five “overrated” current Mariners: potential trade fodder:
    Jose Lopez (sounds like GMs across baseball are in agreement in this one!)
    David Aardsma (from barely surviving on the Red Sox’ 40-man roster, to closing successfully for the Ms! Makes me believe that Jack Zd could find a closer under a rock)
    Greg Halman (Three True Outcomes players don’t work in Safeco Field!)
    Brandon Morrow (And to think we COULD have had…)
    Philippe Aumont (Sore hip just a harbinger of things to come)

  6. rightwingrick says:

    Chone Figgins is the perfect free agent, a switch hitter who can play 3B, LF, and run, while we break in both right-handed Matt Tuiasasopo at 3B and left-handed LF Michael Saunders.

    Add to that a trade that brings in Adrian Gonzalez at 1B with good left-hand power, good OBP, good BA. We may have to give up Morrow, top prospect SS Triunfel, RP Lowe, and top prospect OF Halman to get him, but that may be OK………

    ….especially if we then sign Rich Harden or Ben Sheets, or maybe both, to contracts laden with incentives.

    I think we could stop there and be very, very happy.

  7. Larry Larue says:

    moo – mariners worry that johnson won’t be ready in april and that moore’s inexperience could show. they want a veteran who can fill in for one or the other.

  8. wabubba67 says:

    I agree…go get Chone Figgins for the reasons mentioned above. Would love to see Ichiro and Figgins at the top of the order. In addition, that move would make a division rival weaker!

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