Seattle missed out on free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera, and as a result is still looking for a bat. According to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, the Mariners are close to trading for a hitter, however their target at this point is unknown. Seattle Times beat writer Ryan Divish believes a trade can be announced within two or three days.
The Mariners were able to sign Nelson Cruz to a four-year deal, however envision him serving as the club's designated hitter rather than a starting outfielder. After the club announced it signed Cruz, several front office executives noted that the team was still seeking a power outfield bat. Alex Rios and Torii Hunter were named as possibilities at the time. Before the Padres acquired Matt Kemp at the Winter Meetings last week, Seattle was among the teams interested in the then-Dodgers outfielder since it would prefer adding a right-handed bat to the lineup.
Since Crasnick also believes the Mariners' target is right-handed but hasn't been linked to the club frequently this offseason, Justin Upton may not be realistic. In a deal that involved Upton, the Braves are expected to ask for prospect Taijuan Walker, who the Mariners don't appear willing to part with. Unless Atlanta's asking price changes, Seattle is not a likely destination for Upton.
While they were initially linked to Cabrera and Upton, the Mariners have also internally considered Chicago's Dayan Viciedo and Washington's Ian Desmond. Viciedo is just 25, but could become a non-tender candidate if he continues to have difficulty defensively and getting on base. The White Sox are looking for a bullpen arm in exchange for Viciedo. Seattle does not want to part with Walker or James Paxton, but discussed a deal with Washington that would have sent Brad Miller to the Nationals in exchange for Desmond. Talks stalled since the Nationals were ultimately interested in Walker and Paxton.
Although possible names are not yet clear, the Mariners could announce the acquisition before the end of the week.