A story in today's News Tribune about the opening of the free agent market today lacked one key ingredient - anything from Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik.
Jack was in meetings all day, apparently, then cut out for an early dinner with some of his staff. He telephoned this morning, and I asked what I'd have asked yesterday - what are the Mariners scouring the market for?
"We're young in the bullpen and you always look at starting pitching, every team in the game does," Zduriencik said. "We're always looking for ways to get better offensively."
He wouldn't talk about anyparticular free agent by name - I threw out several and he wouldn't touch 'em.
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"Third base is something we'll have to settle, and whether that's internally or external remains to be seen," Zduriencik said. "We're going to touch base with a lot of players, find out where they're at, what they're looking for."
Are there specific players Z has targeted this winter?
""There are players we'd love to have here, but two paths have to meet," he said. "The player has got to want to come here."
For all those clamoring for Prince Fielder, or believing Jack has a big advantage because the two have a relationship, I tossed his name out. Zduriencik didn't bite.
"I have relationships with a lot of players, a lot of agents," he said. "I wouldn't comment on any individual free agent."
Revealing? Not really. But Jack's style is not to play his hand in the press, and it's hard to take issue with it, frustrating as it might be. He wouldn't talk about how much he has to spend or what the Mariners 2012 payroll will be, either.