The Seattle Mariners are still shopping for free agents…allegedly. Who knows where some of these hints, whispers and rumors come from, but there have been numerous stories that “link” (love that word) the Mariners to players like Nelson Cruz.
Why? Despite the baggage that goes along with someone like Cruz, the general consensus is that the Mariners need another bat. There are flaws in this logic, but who said sports was always logical?
In recent days, the rumors about Cruz and the Mariners have quieted a bit, which caused Sports World News to speculate that perhaps the talks are cooling off. This would not be a shock.
If you think about it, the Mariners are really on the better side of the negotiating table in this situation. Cruz may be able to add some lumber to the Seattle lineup, but they aren’t desperate for him. At least, they shouldn’t be. Truthfully, he may not produce much more than the current outfield, and certainly not at his likely asking price.
Therefore, the Mariners can afford to wait. Seattle can let the calendar move ever closer to spring training. If Cruz wants a job, he will lower his asking price.
Meanwhile, an injury to Hisashi Iwakuma and shoulder discomfort for Taijuan Walker leads to additional speculation that the Mariners might be looking for another arm. Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez are still out there, but the fact that they are unsigned at this points says something.
Either the asking price is too high, or teams like the Mariners are not convinced that either pitcher can truly help them at this point. Or, it might be a little bit of both. This is where the Mariners have to be careful. If they call either pitcher right now, won’t that tip their hand a bit and send a message that they are worried about pitching depth?
Rumors are fun, aren’t they? We are running out of time for them to actually turn into real deals.