Well, the news just keeps getting better and better. Apparently, the Mariners are “in the running” for what is being considered some of the top FA prospects. I am bit surprised by this since most fans remember the signings of Sexson and Beltre. Sexson became a complete waste of space. Beltre, being a defensive marvel, never was able to achieve his MVP numbers with the Dodgers.
Chone Figgins. I love it when the Mariners go after players that kill them as opponents. Figgins has been a career Angel, and would take a fair amount of money/persuasion to leave the defending AL West champs for a team trying to win that title. He could do a lot of great things for us. He is versatile both in the field and a switch hitter at the plate, a nice plus for a team that has questions marks at third base and second base. I have yet to mention that he can also steal a few bases. Between Ichiro and Figgins, we could have 100 stolen bases. The more I look at this, the more I hope this happens! Looking into my crystal ball, here is what I see as two possible situations.
1. Sign Figgins, trade Lopez for pitching. With the numbers that Lopez put up last year, he could bring in a solid #2 starter.
2. Sign Figgins and lose Beltre. Beltre will not accept arbitration, so that puts him out there on the FA market. Signing Figgins puts less worry on losing Beltre as he can play third, just not as well.
Rich Harden. Looking into his stats last year, I am bit concerned signing him. However, his stats (as well as his shoulder and back) do make him an affordable option. I stated yesterday why I think he would be a good addition to this staff. I did not realize, but we have some history with Harden, we drafted him! It was in the 38th round in 1999. He decided not to sign, then ended up in Oakland two years later. From an opponent standpoint, he has a 5-2 record with a 1.90 ERA against the Mariners. As stated here, it would only cost the M’s money this time around to sign Bedard…I mean Harden.
John Lackey and Jason Bay. Jack Z. strikes me as a “most bang for the buck” sort of a GM. Lackey and Bay would be commanding large money, that I am not sure we are ready to go there. Not only commanding large money, but can we compete in a bidding war with Boston, New York and the Philadelphia? I cannot imagine Lackey not being back in an Angels uniform next year. Bay is interesting has he is product of British Columbia and a graduate of Gonzaga. His ties to the northwest is something the Mariners would be banking on to tug at his heart strings. However, I feel he will go where the money is.
It is rumored that Greg Zaun could sign by days end. The four teams on his radar are the Brewers, Rockies, Rays, and Mariners. This would be a nice affordable pick. Once the news breaks, I will do what I can to post something.
This is just getting started, we are still a few days away from the start of the winter meetings. Look for big news around Roy Halladay next week!