Placido Polanco got three years and $18 million from Philadelphia. Marco Scutaro got a two-year deal from Boston with a third-year option - the whole thing worth $12.5, guaranteed, with a $6 million option year.
And now the Seattle Mariners are rumored to be 'frontrunners' in the chase for free agent Chone Figgins, the Angel third baseman who can play anywhere. GM Jack Zduriencik is said to have talked seriously with Figgins' reps last night.
All he would cost the Mariners is the 18th pick in the first round of next June's draft and, oh, about $30 million over four years. That's an estimate. It may be a bit low.
Figgins would be a great fit at third base defensively, and though he'll turn 32 next month, he carries a .291 career average and is precisely the kind of player manager Don Wakamatsu loves.
Last season, for instance, Figgins walked 101 times, stole 42 bases, batted .298 and had a .395 on-base percentage. He can bunt, he can run and, given just a little help, he can score - 114 runs last season.
The Angels want him back and offered arbitration. They won't happily let him come to a division rival, so whatever the Mariners are offering, this is far from a done deal.
It's a rumor that fits the needs of the team, but rumors won't mean much in April if Figgins goes back to Anaheim. At least in this case, the Mariners are actually working hard to land him.
It's more fun than thinking about John Lackey or Jason Bay, two guys as likely to land in Seattle as, oh, Albert Pujols.
And now, your daily links:
- ESPN's best unknown columnist, Jim Caple, weighs in on his Hall of Fame ballot and how he's leaning toward voting - including a thoughtful take on Edgar Martinez. Always good reading.
- Three years into the five-year deal they signed Gil Meche to, the Royals are hoping to trade him this winter for young talent. The right-hander is owed $24 million and has gone 29-34 in Kansas City.
- Jacques Jones last played baseball in 2008 but, at 34, he's headed to the winter meetings in hopes of getting back in the game. Jones played 10 seasons, batted .277 and hit 165 home runs.
- Henry Blanco served to remind the Mariners what a veteran catcher is worth. At 37, he signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Mets - to be the backup.
- San Diego hasn't added much talent on the field this winter, but they're about to name veteran broadcaster Dick Enberg as their No. 1 play-by-play man on television. Enberg, 74, was the voice of the Angels when Dave Niehaus broke in there.
- Among the first-time candidates for the Hall of Fame this year is Roberto Alomar. Will he be inducted? Cleveland columnist Bill Livingston won't vote for him because of the way Alomar played in Game 5 of the Mariners-Indians 2001 playoff game.
- Joe Strauss writes about the Cardinals efforts to re-sign Matt Holiday and extend Albert Pujols, and estimates those two could consume 45 per cent of the $100 million St. Louis payroll.