M's Progress on Free Agent, Trade

The Mariners are busy in trade talks and may be getting closer to consumating a deal for a bat. The club is also making headway in negotiations with a free agent pitcher.

ItP has learned that the club has made notable progress in talks with at least one free agent pitcher and has also taken similar steps forward on one of several trade seeds that were planted as many as three or four weeks ago.

The free agent pitcher is not left-hander Jamie Moyer, though progress is expected on that front as well. Jeff Weaver and Matt Morris are the top two possibilities, but neither agent was willing to comment on potential negotiations at this time.

It's possible that the Mariners have already decided that Moyer is the second starting pitcher the club targets this winter. This would mean that the club is only looking to add one arm from outside the organization, unless a contract cannot be agreed to with Moyer.

GM Bill Bavasi and the rest of the front office is working on a trade that would bring the club a "much needed component", believed to be an offensive player that bats from the left side of the plate.

A club source has confirmed that most trade talks have been centered around the M's relief corps and some of the better prospects in the system, though no indication on specifics were revealed.

While nothing is immenent, an executive did comment that "we're closer than I thought we'd be on two deals. Things are moving faster, but nothing is done until it's done. We have feelers out there in just about every direction."

One player that was ruled out, at least at this particular time, is former Ms center fielder Ken Griffey, Jr.

"I can't comment on that except to say that we have not spoken to them (Cincinnati) about anyone."

The M's expect free agent talks regarding any starting pitchers to drag into December's winter meetings in Dallas.

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