One week from today, the major leaugue winter meetings begin in Indianapolis, and not only will the Seattle Mariners get there early, they'll be be in full let's-make-a-deal mode.
GM Jack Zduriencik, his front office staff and manager Don Wakamatsu will fly in a full day or two early, and they're hoping not to come home empty-handed.
With potential holes to fill at first base, third base and designated hitter, and the strong desire to bolster their starting rotation with a veteran, the Mariners have no shortage of targets.
They'd love to land right-hander Rich Harden, for instance. But most teams not in the running for Roy Halladay - or John Lackey - are after Harden. That includes the Twins, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Rangers and others.
Don't expect the Mariners to land a Type A free agent, which would cost them a draft pick. Those picks are potential gold for a GM trying to restock the farm system with players who, like, might actually help the franchise. That almost certainly rules out free agents like Marco Scutaro, who's looking for a multi-year deal.
Seattle is also in the market for a veteran catcher and no, Jamie Burke is not on their list.
Trades are the likeliest route to the players Zduriencik wants to piece into his club, and that means dangling arms like Brandon Morrow and Mark Lowe. Yes, they will try shopping Jose Lopez - again. It could also mean moving minor league infielder Carlos Triunfel in the right deal.
No, Zduriencik isn't likely to give up draft picks or move promising prospects, but to fill specific needs he is open. Under his regime, however, you won't see the best and brightest traded for, say, a Horacio Ramirez or Joe Borchard.
Want to play GM? Who would you target next week, what would you be willing to give up? Is there one free agent you'd be willing to spend big on, players - other than Felix Hernandez and Ichiro - you wouldn't trade under any circumstances?
We've got a week to talk about. Let's start.
And now, a few morning links:
- Grady Sizemore, a Northwest product and the Indians center fielder, has begun legal action after photos of him - some of them of him half dressed - appeared on the internet. According to Sizemore, they were stolen from his girlfriend's e-mail. That's why so few sportswriters strip on-camera.
- Reports that Florida ace Josh Johnson was available after the Marlins two-year contract offer was rejected apparently had no legs. Marlins GM Michael Hill said Johnson would be with the team in 2010.
- The Texas Rangers would love to add Jermaine Dye's bat to their lineup, but T.R. Sullivan speculates in his blog that Dye is going to land in San Francisco, not Arlington.
- The always entertaining Joe Posnanski projects 10 players under 30 he believes will be in the Hall of Fame. One is Zack Grienke. None are Mariners.
- For those who love spring training in Arizona, here's a bit of news. The Cincinnati Reds new complex in Goodyear was finished on time and is now ready for its Cactus League debut March 6.
- The Chicago Cubs are ardent suitors for Detroit center fielder Curtis Granderson, but have told the Tigers which young players they won't give up.