Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Aces Wild: Bavasi Can't Bust

There was a complete lack of news on the Mariners front from the Winter Meetings today. The Tigers landing Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis from Florida was a little exciting, however.

No news is good news? Not at all. The Mariners need some major pitching help. They at least have a 4 and 5 spot to fill, but would love to be able to drop Washburn or Batista down a notch. Here are the aces the Mariners have been linked to and what's new:

Erik Bedard: Yesterday I wrote a blog about how we shouldn't expect a Bedard deal, as his price may be too high. However, the Mariners need an impact pitcher and it appears Bavasi would be willing to part with Adam Jones and Brandon Morrow, along with another prospect. The interesting part is that the Mariners are now considered front runners for Bedard's services, as Baltimore appears to be one of the few teams that are high on Jones and Morrow. It remains to be seen whether or not the Mariners would have to offer Wladimir Balentien as well. Giving up Wlad would make the next Mariner priority an outfielder with some pop, but the Orioles have been rumored to covet Balentien for awhile. I personally think one of Wlad and Jones needs to be retained.

Johan Santana: It's already been reported that the Mariners are out of the running for Santana, and it appears that everyone else besides Boston is as well. That said, this could be Seattle's time to strike. I know it's quite optimistic of me to even bother talking about Johan at this point, but this is how desperate the Mariners are. Bavasi said they weren't completely out of it and could jump back in later on, so I'm still allowed to bring it up. The current Boston offer appears to be Jon Lester, Coco Crisp, Jed Lowrie, Justin Masterson and Ryan Kalish. Notice the absence of Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz. Sure, a 5-for-1 trade is always tough to pull off, but I'm still convinced that Bavasi could create some late competition for the Sox now that the offer doesn't contain so many young studs. If Bavasi was going to make a play he'd have to do it right away, as Boston and Minnesota are set to negotiate late into the night.

Ben Sheets: As expected, there really wasn't much behind the Ben Sheets rumors/speculation. He's not unavailable, but it would take quite a deal to move him. The Mariners may have been talking to the Brew Crew about Chris Capuano instead.

Without Dan Haren, those three may be the best pitchers being talked about. I'm disappointed in myself for trying to rule out Erik Bedard so early. I should have known better that Bavasi is desperate to make a move.

Bartolo Colon could almost be considered an ace. The Mariners and Colon haven't been linked in quite awhile now, but there is news that he is seeking a multi-year deal, making him less of a target. As far as Hiroki Kuroda goes, the Mariners may have the best offer out as of now. The Diamondbacks and Dodgers have similar offers, all 3 years/$27-33M, and it may take a fourth year to land him. Kuroda will visit a few American cities after the meetings before making his decision. Hopefully this horrible NW weather we've had lately won't scare him away.

Further reading: Geoff Baker, LA Daily News

View Bleeding Blue and Teal posts related to: Erik Bedard - Johan Santana - Ben Sheets ER-BED JO-SAN BEn-SHE

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