Mariners to pursue Ellsbury, Choo, starting pitcher

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

The team is expected to try to sign either Ellsbury or Choo and add a starting pitcher as well.

If there is one team in position to make a big splash this winter, it may be the Seattle Mariners. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the team will try to sign either Jacoby Ellsbury or Shin-Soo Choo along with a starting pitcher before spring training opens next February.

Seattle has long been linked to Ellsbury, an Oregon native who is expected to leave the Red Sox this winter. He is likely to be the team's primary target, with Choo serving as a valuable alternative.

Rosenthal also notes that the team will not pursue first baseman Mike Napoli as they did last offseason, but are still in search of a right-handed bat. Potential options include Nelson Cruz, Corey Hart and Marlon Byrd, and a reunion with Mike Morse cannot be ruled out either.

As for starting pitchers, the team is expected to move on from left-hander Joe Saunders, who had his team option declined last week. They are not expected to be major players for top-line free agent starters like Ervin Santana or Matt Garza, but could grab one of the many mid-tier free agent rotation options like Scott Kazmir, Ricky Nolasco, Scott Feldman or Josh Johnson.

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