A team looking for help at the plate, the Seattle Mariners apparently have made preliminary contact with two teams - Kansas City and Tampa Bay - looking for offensive help.
The Kansas City Star reported the Mariners had shown interest in former Seattle outfielder Jose Guillen, a 34-year-old in the final year of a three-year, $36 million deal.
Guillen is batting .275 with 8 home runs and 21 RBI. He's thought to be available because a) the Royals aren't going anywhere and b) he's volatile and often injured.
Tampa, meanwhile, signed third baseman/DH Hank Blalock, 29, to a minor league deal and in 20 AAA games this season, he's batting .388 with three home runs and 21 RBI.
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Yes, Blalock looks more attractive. But there's a problem. Isn't there always?
The Rays view Blalock as insurance against injury on their big-league roster - and as a trading chip to pick up something that might help them win this year.
Short of dangling Cliff Lee, the Mariners probably don't have that piece. For that matter, prying Guillen free from Kansas City would likely take pitching Seattle doesn't want to lose.
There will be other hitters who emerge as candidates, and other quiet conversations between GM Jack Zduriencik and other teams. Finding a hitter who can help without weakening another part of this team is going to be difficult.
And one rent-a-hitter like Guillen isn't a long-term solution. The Mariners don't need a band-aid, they need surgery.