What good is moving in the fences if you cannot acquire a slugger to take advantage of it? That seems to be the question going through the mind of Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik, who is still on the hunt for an offensive upgrade this winter, reports Greg Johns of MLB.com:
"We have a lot of discussions going with different angles and we’ll see where it goes," Zduriencik said Monday afternoon. "We’re trying to be fairly aggressive and try to do something to bring other opportunities here...
"It isn’t easy to be patient, but it’s part of the process…"
[The Mariners] are seeking a veteran, middle-of-the-order bat. They acquired Jason Bay, who could help, but they’re not planning to stop there.
"That’s something we can’t comment a great deal on, but I don’t think we’re done," said manager Eric Wedge. "Jack has a lot of irons in the fire… We’ll see. We have a lot of time left."
The club has been tied to most of the free-agent sluggers at one time or another over the past few months – and were believed to be "very close" to a deal for Josh Hamilton last week – but all they have to show for their efforts so far is a small contract with veteran outfielder Jason Bay.
Along with Hamilton, third baseman Kevin Youkilis and corner outfielders Nick Swisher and Cody Ross are potential middle-of-the-order bats still available on the open market.
The Mariners have also explored several trade possibilities but have yet to find a match. Seattle was tied to a trade for Royals’ designated hitter Billy Butler early on in the Winter Meetings, but talks stalled quickly when it became clear that Kansas City was seeking a top-tier veteran starter in return.