Did The Seattle Mariners Fail At The Winter Meetings?
By Dan Hughes
Well, that wasn’t a lot of fun to watch, now was it? With all the hype and the speculation surrounding the 2014 MLB Winter Meetings, there had not been a more boring four day period as a Mariners fan since….I honestly can’t remember.
There were no lack of rumors – some admittedly more ridiculous than others. But when the dust settled, the White Sox, Red Sox, Marlins, Padres, Dodgers, Reds, Tigers, Cubs, hell, half of the League all made moves while the Mariners sat virtually silent…..waiting.
Now let’s step back a second. Would you rather have the Mariners make a move just for the sake of making a move? I personally would not. But with all of the opportunities that were made available, it was frustrating to watch them do virtually nothing.
Remember the Matt Kemp rumors? He’s on the Padres now.
Yoenis Cespedes? To the Tigers.
Jon Lester (not thought to be on the Mariners radar, but some thought there was a chance)? To the Cubs.
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Kendrys Morales? To the Royals (thank God!)
So the next question is; what does that leave next for the Mariners?
There are still rumors out there surrounding the club. Just because the Meetings are over, doesn’t mean teams all of a sudden stop dealing. One of the trade rumors out there involves Ian Desmond coming to the Mariners.
Though according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune, the Mariners are “cool” on that idea at the moment. There is also the ever-present Dayan Viciedo rumor. Though it seems as if the hype surrounding this deal is being pushed by the White Sox side.
Justin Upton is still out there, but the Braves’ asking price (Taijuan Walker at least) is too high for the Mariners to seriously consider it.
Then there are the remaining free agents. It appears that the discussions between the club and Melky Cabrera are caught up on a rather sizeable gap. It seems Melky wants five years and upwards of $60 million while the M’s appear willing to offer three years and around $40 million.
There is also Alex Rios, but also according to Dutton, Rios wants to wait out the other moves in the market before deciding his fate.
There is still a large segment of fans that keep asking me; “Why not bring back Ichiro?” I’m not suggesting that it’s a good idea or not, but it IS an idea. If the club is serious about using Brad Miller in the outfield, Ichiro could get some starts in right as well in that scenario.
Besides, if the Mariners can just make a minor tweak to help in the outfield this year, they can position themselves to make the big splash in the market next year. With Upton, Cespedes, Jason Heyward, Dexter Fowler and Will Venable among others are all free agents – assuming none sign contract extensions – after this next season.
So, did they lose the Meetings? Perhaps. But there could still be at least one move up their sleeve. And there could “COULD” still be a large move on the horizon. I’ll talk more about that next time.