The No. 1 pursuit for the Seattle Mariners continues to be a power bat, but the club is on the market for starting pitching as well. The M's sent lefty innings-eater Jason Vargas to the Los Angeles Angels last month and have yet to find a replacement for the southpaw.
Two free-agent starters -- Kyle Lohse and Joe Saunders -- can reportedly be crossed off of Seattle fans' wish lists, sources have told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:
#Mariners badly want a hitter, but also looking at starting pitchers. Sources say Lohse too pricey, while Saunders wants three years.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 4, 2013
The market for the 34-year-old has been a very quiet one of late, so perhaps the Mariners will change their mind if his asking price comes down some. The issue with Lohse may not be the money he would command in a deal, however, but rather the draft pick and corresponding budget he would cost as a qualifying-offer player.
If the Mariners cannot find a starter on the free-agent market, they do have trade options as well. Seattle has already been tied to Tigers' right-hander Rick Porcello, and the Dodgers may have an available starter or two.