Winter Meetings start
The Mariners have made initial inquiries on pitchers A.J. Burnett and Matt Morris, and outfielder Brian Giles, among other high-profile free agents. But this week is unlikely to include many notable signings, if any, since teams are unable to discuss contract terms until Friday.
Matt Morris? Danger!
Since (as the blockquote explains) teams can’t offer contracts to free agents until later this week, it’s trade speculation that occupies most of journalists’ time. Rumored targets include big-ticket players Carl Pavano, Carlos Delgado and Jim Thome.
Dave has said that he wouldn’t be surprised to see Pavano trade discussion between the M’s and Yankees, and it looks like that may be borne out. Regarding Pavano:
The Yankees have long been fond of Seattle starters Gil Meche and Joel Pineiro. Still, even that might not be enough to solidify speculation into a deal. “It makes sense,” one Yankees official said of the scenario, “but I don’t see it happening.”
That’s a good thing. Thirty million for three years of Carl Pavano is not something the Mariners need. Ditto for Thome: the only good thing about pursuing him would be the halt to the “let’s go get Ryan Howard” sentiment in the comments.
Regarding Delgado, I’m more circumspect. That’s a lot of money, he’s not a young player, and it would create certain lineup quandaries — but he can also really hit, is left-handed and would add badly needed power to the lineup. On balance, I don’t think I’d go after him myself, but I can see the thinking behind it.