Let me first say that I am a sucker for the annual MLB winter meetings. I love the rumors, love the trades, and the possibility of hearing the Mariners connected to a big name, like Cliff Lee last year. I follow it all on twitter, and I don’t miss a single tweet from the gurus. The winter meetings bring excitement into my life, a lot like the NFL draft. You can make your own judgments of me, but I love this stuff. So now that you see where I’m coming from, as a Mariners fan, you can understand my disappointment with this years’ winter meetings so far. I didn’t expect the M’s to be big players, unlike last year, but Jack typically makes a splash, and I have not heard anything noteworthy. I mean seriously, here’s the few M’s related tweets I’ve seen.
“AL West foes A’s & Mariners seem to be going head to head on at least 2 free agents, RHP Dennys Reyes, a reliever, and C Gregg Zaun.” – John Hickey
“Sources tell me Mariners are targeting Luis Valbuena for need at second.” -Shannon Drayer
“Sources: Strong multi-year interest for FA RHP Kevin Gregg. Offers from RedSox, Pirates, Nationals. Orioles, Mariners also in mix.” -Ken Rosenthal
“Jorge Cantu generating interest in San Diego, Seattle, Arizona.” -Tim Brown
“Rays and Mariners showing interest in free agent LHP Mark Hendrickson.” -Jon Morosi
“Mariners liked Rich Harden as a free agent last off-season — and they are interested now, too.” -Jon Morosi
“The Seattle Mariners have checked in on Eric Chavez as a possible low-risk 1B-3B-DH option if he’s healthy.” -Jerry Crasnick
On the excitement meter, these rate has major duds. I’m glad we aren’t signing guys like Jayson Werth for 7 years and $126 million, but I need something Jack! Last year, the M’s attempted to re-build and compete for the playoffs at the same time; a tricky task to say the least, and it obviously didn’t pan out. I think this year, given the strength of the Rangers and Angels, and the fact that we had the worst record in the AL last year, a major youth movement makes the most sense. Sure, Seattle could conceivably offer a package of Smoak, Pineda, etc. for a pitcher like Zach Greinke, and also sign Carlos Pena or another bat, and put together a pretty competitive team next year. But would that even be enough to challenge in the AL West? Perhaps, but it is probably best to hold onto our blue chips prospects rather than mortgage the future, and make a run in 2012.
I understand the logic, but it’s boring and frustrating. I want the M’s to be good…like NOW. Unfortunately, the waiting must continue. Maybe we will make a couple minor splashes in days to come, but the biggest moves are probably a year away.