Mariners Insider Blog

Live blog: Winter Meetings Day 2

10:20 a.m.

A little Willie to start your morning .... yes, I like country music. I'm from Montana. I also like old school hip hop as well. Yes, I'm weird.

We are back at the Gaylord for day 2 of rumors, whispers and free soda .... diet mountain dew!!!

10:35 a.m.

Here's my story from yesterday's paper on GM Jack Zduriencik's decision making. Here's my notebook wrapping up some of the other news of the day.

10:49 a.m.

Jon Heyman has tweeted out something that's pretty common -- the Mariners and Felix Hernandez are in talks about a contract extension.

This is something that's been on the table for a while now. The talks are progressing slowly and are very preliminary. Hernandez doesn't like dealing with that type of stuff during the season. So there's that.

The Mariners definitely want to lock up the face of their franchise for more years. Felix loves it in Seattle. But there is definitely a part of him that is interested to see what the Mariners do and how they improve this team. He is a competitor and wants to win. Ideally, I think he wants to do it in Seattle. But the Mariners must show him they are serious about improving.

11:13 a.m. -- Some thoughts on Josh Hamilton

A few thoughts on Josh Hamilton ...

I think the Mariners had to meet and listen to what Hamilton was asking for. It's due diligence. It's also instructive to put their offer out there.  In the end, I don't see it happening.

A cynic might say that Hamilton is using the Mariners - and the leaked news of the meeting - to put a little pressure on the Rangers and Red Sox, who are also looking at him, which is also very fair.

Hamilton is going to get more than $20 million a year. I don't care what type of problems he had at the end of last season. I don't care about his injury history. He will get at that. It's a matter of how many years he gets that for. Seven? That's ludicrous. Six? That's too much. Five? Well, if you are the big market teams you can take the hit. Four? Now you are getting in the Mariners' range. Three? That would be ideal.

But I think Hamilton gets the five from another team. That's not an indictment from the Mariners. It's tough to gauge Hamilton's true interest in Seattle. And judging from his wife's comments from the SI article, it's tough to know exactly how they feel.

12:22 p.m.-- Nate McClouth? Meh.

There's this ...

I think the Mariners have plenty of fourth outfielder types like McLouth ... but oh well.

1:13 p.m. -- Jack's on the radio!!

Jack Zduriencik was on with Brock and Salk a little while ago. There was really no news to come from it. But he did reference "The Godfather" a few times, which was cool.

1:17 p.m. -- Bourn, Michael Bourn

Jon Heyman reports that the Mariners MAY be interested in free agent outfielder Michael Bourn. I MAY need to have an adult beverage after this day over with because I MAY lose my mind.

1:50 p.m. -- #EdgarHOF

There is a large stack of these handouts in the media workroom here in Nashville. This kind of stuff is why the Mariners' media relations is so very good. It's like the Felix Fun Facts. Will it help Edgar get into the Hall? Who knows. But the information is there for the voters to see.

Here's the full packet ...

2:30 p.m. -- Bay isn't official.

A source inside the Mariners confirms that free agent outfielder Jason Bay has not official signed a contract with the organization. Mike Salk of ESPN 710 is reporting that they are close to signing him. Salk is correct. If an agreement is reached, it will likely happen after the winter meetings. Why? Well, there isn't a major rush to get it done. Bay isn't going anywhere and the demand for his services is not that great. There are few teams interested in taking a one-year flyer at less than a million dollars.

Why the Mariners? Well, it's been noted many times before that Bay, a native of British Columbia and graduate of Gonzaga, lives in Kirkland. So there is that connection.

My thoughts?

It's a low-risk with perhaps a medium reward. I'm not going to say Bay is done, but many people believe he is. I don't think it's realistic to think he can be the player he was with the Red Sox (.267 with 36 homers 119 RBI, .384 OBP/.537 SLG). The same player that earned a gargantuan contract (4 years, $66 million) that the Mets will still be paying for this year.

During his three seasons with the Met, Bay played in 288 games because of a myriad of injuries including concussion issues. He had 1,125 plate appearances. he hit .234 with a .318 OBP/.369 SLG and struck out 285 times.

If the Mariners want to take a flyer ... give him a 1-year, $650,00 incentive laden deal and see what happens. If he suddenly experiences some rejuvenation of his skills and can hit, then great. If not ... easy come, easy go.

4:01 p.m. -- so you want to be the Mariners general manager?

Well check out this virtual GM tool that Ian Swenson of the News Tribune created. It's a way to set up your roster and sign free agents. It's kind of cool tool and a good way to waste time at work.

4:00 --- KJR radio spot ... talking with Ian Furness. Fast forward about 20 minutes.

4:32 p.m. ... Jack Zduriencik calls the assertion that the Mariners are desperate for hitting "ludicrous."

In the days leading up to the winter meetings ESPN's Buster Olney wrote that a rival GM said the Mariners were desperate for hitting going to into the winter meetings. Zduriencik didn't really care for that assessment.

"That would be ludicrous to say we are desperate,"  Zduriencik said. "To say we would like to have a hitter, of course we would. I’ve been pretty public. I don’t think I’ve hid that all. We were last in the league in hitting, so why wouldn't you want to add a hitter, but to say we are desperate?"

By having that stigma of desperation, Zduriencik believes that agents or opposing teams might get the idea they can fleece him or the Mariners in a possible deal.

"I’m not going to do something foolish in my estimation," he said. "If someone is sitting there saying, ‘I’m going to get a an extra player from them cause there desperate,’ then they’re foolish. I’m not doing that. We have some pretty young talented players. Yes, I’d like to add a bat. There’s no question, but there’s a cost and a risk."

So what's an example of a desperation move? Well, Bill Bavasi giving up 5 players, including Adam Jones for a moody, oft-injured pitcher named Erik Bedard.

Don't expect that to happen.

"I can assure you this: we are not making a decision out of desperation," Zduriencik said. “There are some nice pieces in the organization and none of them are going to be moved out of desperation.”

But what about the need to add a bat?

"If we walk away from here and we have what would appear to have done nothing, quite frankly we did something – we’ve held onto our commodities," Zduriencik said. "And we will continue the plan. I hope we can do something here. Maybe it happens a week from now or a month from now. If it doesn't happen then, maybe happens in spring training."

Zduriencik said that the moves made here in Nashville could be minor. At this point, it's become clear that Hamilton doesn't appear to be signing in the next few days and Swisher is waiting for Hamilton to sign. Bourn is also in that camp.

More radio this time on 710 ....