Quiet Start To Meetings For Mariners

The first day of the Winter Meetings came and went with barely a peep from the Mariners.

There were some rumors that the Mariners were “the leader” to sign free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera, but when meeting with the media late on Monday afternoon General Manager Jack Zduriencik said that they are not close to any deals.

There is a lack of urgency for Seattle right now, because they already signed Nelson Cruz before the meetings even started.

The team definitely needs one more major league outfielder, and I suppose they could use a left-handed reliever (they could just keep it in-house and go with Lucas Luetge in this spot).

Other than that the roster is pretty much set. Jack Z can afford to be patient as he watches how the off-season moves play out around baseball.

Elsewhere, there was some action.

The White Sox have been very active, signing the top “proven closer” on the market in David Robertson, and trading four prospects to Oakland for Jeff Samardzija.

I think the White Sox activity is at least partially spurred by the Kansas City Royals run to the World Series last year. Chicago had the AL Rookie of the Year in Jose Abreu but their pitching staff (especially the bullpen) was awful and they only won 75 games.

They must be thinking, “hey if we can get this pitching straightened out and get to 87-89 wins we can take a Wild Card. We’ve got Chris Sale and now Samardzija –  maybe we can make a run through the postseason like Kansas City.”

It’s not a crazy scenario at all.


  • Ryan Divish’s report from the Winter Meetings explains in detail why the Mariners might be best off waiting to see what happens with Melky Cabrera. In a nutshell, it seems like the market for Melky is hard to pin down right now.
  • Here is Divish’s rolling blog post for Tuesday– he’ll have a few updates over the course of the day and into the evening.
  • The Mariners are not going to give up a top pitching talent in exchange for one year of outfield help, Bob Dutton writes.
  • Dutton has all kinds of notes from the first day of the meetings in this report. Of note: the Mariners are bullish on catcher John Hicks, who I expect to be with the Rainiers to open 2015.
  • There is some demand for Mariners shortstops.
  • Greg Johns raised an interesting point: the recovery timeline of Willie Bloomquist (he had knee surgery) is an important factor when considering if the M’s may trade one of their shortstops.
  • Tracy Ringolsby put on his cowboy hat and told some stories about the old days of the Winter Meetings.
  • Every year they name a King Of Baseball – this honor is bestowed upon an elder statesman who has spent his entire life in the game. Texas League lifer Bill Valentine was the winner this year – and he told some stories.
  • Serious facility problems in Bakersfield and High Desert are among the biggest issues Minor League Baseball is trying to solve at the Winter Meetings. The Mariners are now affiliated with Bakersfield (just to be clear: the Mariners have nothing to do with the problems there).
  • Looks like baseball might return to the Olympics in 2020.
  • If you were the sole heir to a relative who passed away, and you unexpectedly found this $400,000 Honus Wagner baseball card in the deceased’s attic, how long would you keep it for before selling? I think I’d show it off for a year and then sell, sell, sell!
  • There is a new lawsuit regarding minor league player salaries. If this is a subject that interests you, here is an easy-to-read article on Fangraphs which explains the suit and the expected outcome.

I wish all of the people at the Winter Meetings would stop posting pictures of San Diego. I look outside my window in Tacoma and it is miserable here today!


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