***UPDATE*** The Mariners did in fact tender contracts to both Saunders and Smoak, as expected.
Now that the 11 pm CST deadline to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players has come and gone, several more free agents have now been added to the pool.
Several players were non-tendered by their clubs Monday and are now out there for teams to bid on. Among those non-tendered include the following the Mariners could turn their eyes to.
The former St. Louis Cardinal reliever was a closer with the Milwaukee Brewers. He fell on tough times as a closer but if the Mariners are unable to sign Joe Nathan or Brian Wilson, they may turn their eyes toward Axford and hope that he can regain his dominance of 2011 (1.95 ERA, 46 saves).
While primarily a first baseman over the past two seasons, Jones has played and can play outfield. If the Mariners fall short in closing the deal on Jacoby Ellsbury and/or Shin-Soo Choo, Jones could be there as a fallback.
He could also fill the DH spot if the M’s don’t sign Morales, Ibanez or trade for another. Over his first six seasons, Jones is a .254 hitter averaging 23 homers and 76 RBI.
Hanson was once the prized jewel of the Atlanta Braves farm system. He never quite lived up to the hype – outside his rookie year – but he could be turned to as a back-end of the rotation guy for the Mariners if they fail to land a No. 2-type pitcher like they plan.
Hanson has dealt with some injuries over the past two seasons, but if healthy, he could be the anchor the M’s rotation needs.
The 2009 NL Rookie of the Year has had a rough go of it since his rookie campaign. Regardless, the Mariners could look at signing him if they fail to get Choo or Ellsbury.
They could also just sign him to a minor league deal and see if they can get some of the 2009 spark back in him.
Do you think the Mariners should try for any of these players? Is there a non-tendered player you would like to see Seattle sign. Let us know.
We will update this page with info of the Saunders and Smoak tenders as it becomes available.