The team has six free agents still out there - a seventh, Jack Wilson, signed with the Mariners last week. Those free agents include Adrian Beltre, Russell Branyan, Erik Bedard, Endy Chavez, Mike Sweeney and Miguel Batista.
Only one, Branyan, has been offered a deal to this point. It was for one year, and the first baseman wants two. Given the fact that his numbers after the All-Star break could have belonged to Richie Sexson a year earlier - .193, nine home runs, 27 RBI - Branyan is unlikely to find a two-year offer anywhere.
More than likely, he'll be back. The others? Not as likely.
Batista, 38, still has an arm as good as when he joined Seattle in 2007 and went 16-11. After seeing him fail to challenge hitters on the mound or be part of the team off of it, the Mariners have seen enough.
Beltre, 30, won a pair of Gold Gloves as a Mariner, but as his defense was recognized, his offense never approached his 2004 season with the Dodgers. Although he often hit in the heart of he order for Seattle, he never should have. After five seasons, his American League average was .266. Expect Beltre to head back to the National League.
Sweeney, 36, was the Mariners right-handed hitting specialist last year and batted .250 before the All-Star break - and .311 after. A little tinkering by hitting coach Alan Cockrell finally took, and Sweeney's average after Aug. 20 (.381) was the second highest in baseball. He'd love to return, but his role with the team likely isn't worth what he hopes to get on the market.
Chavez, 31, was doing everything Seattle hoped he would until a collision with then-shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt ended his season on June 19 and threatened his career. A serious knee injury puts Chavez's future as a fourth outfielder in doubt.
Bedard, 30, is a left-handed ace when healthy, and a major disappointment when he's not. In two seasons in Seattle, he's started just 30 times. He's gone 11-7 with a 3.24 earned run average, and missed half a season or more in both years. Coming off shoulder surgery, Bedard won't pitch again until May, but his upside means he'll have other suitors - including Baltimore. The Mariners are not opposed to bringing him back, but the contract would have to reflect the risk.
Now, your morning links:
- Most GMs won't say much about who they're after, but owners? Angels owner Arte Moreno opened up to the Los Angeles Times and laid out a road map of where his team is headed.
He wants to cut payroll to $113 million in 2010, and it already stands at $101 million. He wants to pursue free agent Jason Bay, probably in lieu of re-signing Vladimir Guerrero, and doesn't think he can bring back both John Lackey and Chone Figgins.
- Jose Lopez, first baseman? Foxsports.com thinks it's a possibility, and while the Mariners talked about it near the end of last season, I'm not sure it's in the works.
Yes, the Mariners want to upgrade at second base, but they are as likely to do so by trading Lopez as trying to get him to play first base fulltime.
- Teams love to send their prize prospects to the Arizona Fall League, but here's why they do so while holding their breath.
Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg twisted his knee shagging in the outfield and is flying today to visit Dr. Lew Yocumb in Los Angeles. Yikes!
- Roy Halladay remains the best pitcher available this off-season, and the Blue Jays are talking trade with the Yankees and Red Sox., according to Jon Heyman.
Makes you wonder, though, how Toronto ever hopes to contend in the American League East by moving Halladay to a division rival.
- The day after Tim Lincecum won his second consecutive National League Cy Young Award, the Giants are asking just what you give the pitcher that can do anything?
As in, 'Good Lord, what might this do to our arbitration case?'
- Here's news the Mariners must love reading. When Everett's Kirby Arnold called Branyan, the first baseman with the troublesome back was busy at home - hauling concrete blocks.