Seattle Mariners: Are They Serious Contenders in Free Agency?

Todd PheiferAnalyst IIIDecember 7, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 01:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers signs autographs before their game against the Oakland Athletics at Coliseum on October 1, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After a while, you start to get tired of the phrase “have some interest.”

The Seattle Mariners have some interest in Michael Bourn, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

The Mariners continue to have interest in working out a deal for slugger Justin Upton, as tweeted by Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.

According to The Seattle Times, Chuck Armstrong was quoted as saying that the Mariners are “still interested” in Josh Hamilton.

I am interested in a lot of things too. Would you like to hear about them? I didn’t think so.

NBC Sports is reporting that there are mixed reports from Mariner headquarters. Clearly they do not understand how this is supposed to work. NBC Sports is supposed to say something about there being “interest” from the Mariners.

Are the Seattle Mariners really going to shop in the retail section of free agency, or will they be perusing through the bargain bin?

I must concur with my esteemed colleague who wrote about the dizzying experience of following free-agent rumors. Confusion reigns.

The “Hot Stove League” is an intriguing part of the baseball season, but in an age of social media and infinite information outlets, it sure can be difficult to separate fact from rumor.

Reports. Sources. Hints. Rumors. Don’t forget “Someone familiar with the situation.”

Are the Mariners mentioned in these stories just because their offense has been so poor over the last few years? Or will there be some serious shopping by the franchise?

Given the buying power of teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, it is hard to imagine that Seattle could outbid anyone.

More likely, it seems like Seattle will be shopping for good deals.

Jason Bay represents the prototypical good deal for the Mariners. Bay is old and he has not been productive since 2009.


Granted, it is not hard to understand the situation. The budget is the budget. Period. Jason Bay was available because there probably aren’t a lot of teams out there who are anxious to sign a declining 34-year-old who hit .165 in 2012.

Perhaps Bay will be a solid, veteran add-on that complements a bigger free-agent acquisition. Perhaps.

Perhaps Bourn, Hamilton and Upton will all be playing for the Mariners next year. Or, perhaps Jason Bay is the only present that the fanbase is getting for Christmas.

When Jack Zduriencik and Chuck Armstrong say they are interested in Josh Hamilton, I do believe them. They may even offer Hamilton a contract.

If they can get him for three years, I can live with that. I might even go four. Just do not go seven.

The only problem is that it is difficult to know what that word “interested” really means in today’s wacky world of sports.

Is all of this mere speculation or are there extensive secret negotiations going on behind the scenes? The world may never know.

But hey, the Mariners are interested, right? If they aren’t, they should be.

Again, I have many interests that I would like to pursue someday. That does not mean any of them are going to happen.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports says that the Mariners are “serious” about Josh Hamilton.

Forgive me if I am skeptical.

If you don’t mind, I will wait until the press conference.