M's Aren't Done With Winter Makeover
Or so they would allow you to believe.
While the club is not looking to jump into the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes and aren't going to heat up the phone lines in the 312 area code to work a deal for Sammy Sosa, they are, however, still one of the most active teams in the league.
One American League representative thinks the Mariners have made the biggest impact this winter, but not all of it has been on the field.
"What they were doing was proving to everyone that they do mean business. After years of not doing it (signing big name players), they did it twice in 48 hours. Seattle's ownership has silenced a few critics."
Most of the current efforts are via the trade market, with the exception of the team's pursuit of left-handed starting pitcher Odalis Perez.
General Manager Bill Bavasi insists he isn't actively pursuing trades for any player in particular and that no deals will be made unless they make the team better.
"Any (trades) would have to fit," Bavasi told the local media at the press conference to announce the signing of Beltre.
Even if the club fails to sign Perez, thought to be the last free agent starter worth a multi-year contract, the M's are known to be in on several low-key but high reward trade scenarios that are believed to involve left fielder Randy Winn and prospects.
"Every deal we have been in on, they (the Mariners) have already made the call," said a representative of a National League Central club. "Bavasi and his group are making dents, large dents, in the cushion that the rest of the division had on them."
The trade of Randy Winn has been rumored to be inevitable if the club lands Perez, especially if Perez and his agent, Fernando Cuza, drive the price up and over the $7 million per year mark.
The Mariners have apparently offered the most lucrative contract to date, somewhere in the range of $6.5 million per season for three years.
The Mariners aren't the only club interested in the southpaw, as a handful of other teams are on his radar.
The Wahington Nationals, New York Mets and Florida Marlins are also in the mix.
The Mariners are still in search of a few more additions to the 2005 roster, including a veteran for the bullpen, a bench bat, and a backup middle infielder.
Jason can be reached for questions, comments and any other banter at JasonAChurchill@InsidethePark.com
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