When baseball folks say it happens every year, they mean more than just spring - they mean the waning days of the long winter free agency market, and the annual leftovers.
Last spring, it included players like Jermaine Dye, who hit 26 home runs in 2009, became a free agent and is still waiting for a call.
No, Dye wasn't an All-Star demanding a huge deal, just a useable bat that no one seemed to think was better than what they already had. Dye is still wondering what happened, and this year, with a month before camps open, he has company.
Want to fill the tail end of a rotation? Free agents Kevin Millwood, Carl Pavano and Freddy Garcia would love to talk to you. Bullpen help? How about a righty-lefty combo like Rafael Soriano and Brian Fuentes - or an old warhorse like Trevor Hoffman? They're awaiting your call.
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As for hitters, general managers are tired of fielding calls from increasinly desperate agents. Hitters like Manny Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero, Johnny Damon, Jose Guillen, Russell Branyan and Jason Giambi remain unsigned.
A lot of teams, like the Seattle Mariners, have spent most of their budgeted payroll - and would love to dump some of it. But someone in the market for an innings-eater, a closer, a fourth outfielder or a designated hitter is going to get a bargain this spring.
None of those names is going to excite a team with payroll issues, and it's hard to see the Mariners chasing any of them, given their desire to play their kids in 2011. But if Jack Zduriencik could move a Milton Bradley - or the organization decided to eat the $12 million they owe him - Seattle would need a DH.
They could do worse than Guerrero or Ramirez. Heck, signing Dye would improve their offense.