Mariners Have Money Problems, Or Ace Up The Sleeve?


Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Only nine days away from the end of the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes and there have been very few rumors that link the Seattle Mariners to the Japanese ace. Should we be worried that the money is just not there or believe that there is a bigger plan in the works?

Jack Zduriencik may very well become the international man of mystery this offseason. There has been little reports coming from the Mariners front office leading us to believe that we still have a major move left to make. Big Z  has basically been on radio silence since the Winter Meetings early last month. Here is what he had to say in regards to the rest of the M’s offseason:

"We’re at a point where I think we are trying to do a few more things,” Zduriencik said. “I’m not sure that anything is going to be a huge splash. We have some options out there that we can either make a trade or could add another piece to it. I think that if we go for another large deal, that obviously is going to have to go above my head. And at this moment we are where we are, and we’re trying to make things work with what we have."

We’re trying to make things work with what we have is not going to cut it. That statement makes me believe that either A) We are out of money and Robinson Cano was a marketing ploy to put butts in the seats, or B) The man of mystery is playing it cool and letting teams overpay for free agents they are not too interested in.

I feel very strongly that Tanaka is going to be a great starting pitcher, but what you need to understand is that he is going to be grossly overpaid by either the Dodgers, Yankees, or Red Sox. If we do pull out from the sweepstakes that will give us more flexibility and also gives Big Z leverage when taking his beggar’s cup to Howard Lincoln. I think that Lincoln would be more willing to spend $55 Million over 4-5 years for a guy like Matt Garza versus $140 million over 7-8 years for an (unproven) Masahiro Tanaka.

As we stand right now, I am fairly confident with our roster. I believe that (unfortunately) our next impact player will be coming to Seattle by means of a trade. I still think that we are going to end up trading Nick Franklin, (possibly) James Paxton, and another one of our Single-A or Double-A prospects before the year’s first pitch has been thrown.

I just hope that whoever it is for pays off. I think that David Price would be the only one I would want if we were to trade those two away. The longer we wait, the more impatient the Tampa Bay Rays will get, and the more impatient they get, the less we will have to give up to acquire him.

The tough part about trades is that this organization does such a great job with scouting and drafting that we never know who is going to become the next impact player to leave the Mariners.

I hate seeing guys get traded before they are given a chance to prove themselves. That is just the nature of the beast. I hope that this next trade pays off to the tune of a 30+ home runs and 100+ RBI’s or 20 wins and 250K’s rather than being the punch line of another “guess who they traded this guy for” joke.