So day one of the winter meetings is officially over. Well, there is quite a few scribes still at the sports bar at the Gaylord that’s in the middle of a lake. It’s a long story to explain. And a longer story of why I’m not with them.
A source within the organization said of the Mariners talks today, “we are meeting with everyone.”
And that source wasn’t kidding. The Mariners were linked to over 12 players on the first day of the winter meetings. But that’s what happens when you are one of the worst offensive teams in all of baseball for three years in a row, you are desperate to add offense, you have money and prospects and people know all of this.
The most recent news of the evening came out late while we were eating dinner.
Ken Rosenthal and J.P. Morosi of Fox Sports wrote this story about the Mariners meeting with Josh Hamilton on Sunday.
Yes, Jack Zduriencik downplayed the Mariners chances of signing Hamilton a few weeks ago. But sitting down and listening to Hamilton and his agent, Casey Close, isn’t a bad thing.
The market for Hamilton seems to be shifting. The idea of him getting a 7-year, $150-plus million contract seems a bit far fetched. The Mariners certainly aren’t willing to give him that many years. I’m guessing five would be the maximum and even then it feels like a lot.
The story points out that the Rangers are still he favorite, but then there is this little bit of info …
Hamilton, a Christian, has said in the past that God will help him make his free-agent decision, an indication that he might not go to the highest bidder or best team.
and this …
Hamilton’s wife, Katie, told Sports Illustrated in June that the family planned to donate a significant portion of Josh’s next contract to charities.
Pro Athletes Outreach, a Christian organization that ministers to athletes, coaches and their families, is based in Issaquah, Wash., a suburb of Seattle.
“No, we don’t really care about the money so much for us, but we have huge plans for this money and, no, it’s not strictly for our bank account,” Katie Hamilton told SI. “It is for a hurting world.
“The other thing (people) keep saying is, ‘Josh needs Texas; he needs the comfort of this team.’ Uh, we need Jesus. We need God. He goes with us wherever we are. Yes, we’re comfortable in Texas. But maybe God hasn’t called us to comfort. I mean, he didn’t call Jesus to comfort.”
So there is that …
The other news came out a little later from Jon Heyman of CBS.
Mariners/dbacks met tonite. upton on menu. Could ss nick franklin and rhp taijuan walker entuce?— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 4, 2012
This isn’t quite as surprising. The Mariners have been intrigued about Upton for a while now. But so are the Rangers and other teams. Could the Mariners put together a compensatory package to meet their demands?
Who else has mentioned with the Mariners? Well ….
- Mike Morse, 1B, Nationals — He didn’t have that guy once?
- Shin Soo-Choo, OF, Indians — and that guy too?
- Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, Indians — and this guy?
- Cody Ross, OF, Red Sox — not a bad fill in type of player. A free swing with underrated pop.
- Billy Butler, DH, Royals — The Mariners could make this work. Of course, they could have had him a few years ago if they would have parted with Yuni.
- Delmon Young, OF, Tigers — Noooo! Just nooooo!
- Adam LaRoche, 1B, Nationals — he wants a three-year deal. He could help. But was this year his apex?
- Ryan Ludwick, OF, Reds — another cheaper, less impactful player.
- Jason Kubel, OF, D’Backs — well if you can’t get Upton, you can get his cheaper and more consistent teammate.
I have a headache from that.