First off, I’ll just make a list of all the players that the Mariners have been in some way linked to over the last two days: Koji Uehara, Matt Diaz, Rich Harden, Gregg Zaun, Eric Chavez, Hideki Matsui, Jack Cust, Miguel Olivo, Luis Valbuena, Josh Willingham, Mark Hendrickson, Jorge Cantu, Kevin Gregg, and Dennys Reyes.
That should be a pretty good representation of why you shouldn’t pay attention to every rumor you here – the fact is, the smart front offices are likely to “kick the tires”, on pretty much everyone out there. How else are you going to make sure you’re evaluating all of your options? That’s why I’m only going to expand on some of these names.
Matt Diaz – The Mariners could really use another decent outfielder, and Diaz might be a fit. He’s 32 years old, and only one year removed from a .384 wOBA, .390 OBP season. As for defense, he projects as something like an average fielder left or right field. We know how much trouble Michael Saunders has with lefties, so it might not be a bad idea to bring in a RH outfielder to platoon him with.
Rich Harden – After being awful and unhealthy with the A’s in 2010, Harden would likely come at a much cheaper price than he did a year ago. He’s as fragile as ever, but I doubt that the talent is gone. Potential for a low risk, high reward move here.
Gregg Zaun – Even at nearly 40 years old, Gregg Zaun is still a decent backup catcher. He missed most of 2010 with injury issues, but prior to that he had been a pretty consistently average hitter who can draw some walks. From what I’ve heard, the interest is mutual here, and I’m sure the team would love to bring in a veteran backup for Adam Moore, so don’t be surprised if this is a deal that happens.
Miguel Olivo – Pass. Terrible fit for Safeco Field, terrible plate approach.
Luis Valbuena – If you remember Luis Valbuena, it’s probably because he was part of the 2008 trade that brought Franklin Gutierrez to Seattle. He was a decent middle infield prospect at the time of the trade, though since heading to Cleveland he’s been absolutely awful. He is, however, still only 25 years old, and there’s no doubt that the talent is there. The team would likely bring him in as a stopgap at second base, and if he could succeed in that role, they’d have a nifty, young infielder.
We also signed 17-year-old Dominican shortstop Esteilon Peguero to a $2.9 million deal. Jay Yencich’s write up on him is here, and it sounds like he’s an excellent offensive talent.
No other moves yet, but I’ve got a good feeling about tomorrow.