In the weeks leading up to the winter meetings, the Seattle Mariners discussed the possibility of trading for Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Garrett Jones and closer Joel Hanrahan, reports Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times:
I’ve also been told that the Mariners, in weeks leading up to these meetings, have had talks with the Pittsburgh Pirates concerning first baseman/right fielder Garrett Jones.
Now, let me repeat: this is just one of many conversations the Mariners have had with various teams, but I’m told it got beyond the mere single phone call/hang up and that some actual names were bandied about between the squads.
One proposal went something along the lines of the left-handed hitting Jones and Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan going to the Mariners with potentially one other throw-in, in exchange for first baseman Justin Smoak, catcher John Jaso and starting pitcher Hector Noesi.
Baker adds that there were likely other names thrown around in the proposed trade, and that it is unclear where either side stands on making a trade at this time. Hanrahan's name surfaced quite a bit in the rumor mill earlier this week when the Pirates were still trying to lock up a starting catcher, but he may be off the market now that the club has signed Russell Martin to a two-year, $17 million deal.
Jones, 31, hit .274/.317/.516 with 27 home runs in 145 games for the Pirates this past season, his fourth in Pittsburgh. While Smoak's offensive numbers do not really keep up with Jones', the Bucs may want to deal the lefty slugger to lower their payroll. Jones is under team control through 2016, but is a Super Two player so will be relatively expensive in arbitration.