MLB Free Agents 2013: Joe Saunders Would Work Well for Seattle Mariners

Jon ReidCorrespondent IIDecember 23, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 5:  Joe Saunders #48 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches during the American League Wild Card game against the Texas Rangers on October 5, 2012 at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The offseason started off fairly slowly for the Seattle Mariners, with the club being rumored to have interest in just about every major free agent on the market.

Lately, however, the Mariners have been in the news, making a few moves in the last week to help improve their squad.

For starters, GM Jack Zduriencik went out and picked up Kendrys Morales from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, sending southpaw Jason Vargas the other way.

Then the Mariners took flier Jeremy Bonderman on a reclamation project, signing him to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, as reported by Buster Olney of ESPN:


Jeremy Bonderman has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Seattle Mariners, with an invitation to spring training.

— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 21, 2012


Finally, the most recent piece of the puzzle to fall into place was the signing of veteran outfielder Raul Ibanez, as reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Now, Rosenthal is reporting that the Mariners are also in the running for lefty starter Joe Saunders:


Sources: Saunders talking to #Orioles, #Padres, #Mariners. #Pirates also had been in, presumably out with addition of Liriano.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 22, 2012



With Vargas having been shipped off to the Angels, picking up Joe Saunders would be a solid move for Zduriencik to make.

While Joe Saunders isn't necessarily the perfect replacement, he would do a fine job from the third or fourth spot in the rotation and would provide Seattle with a left-handed hurler in the starting rotation to replace Vargas.

After being dealt to the Baltimore Orioles in 2012, Saunders finished up the regular season with a 3.63 ERA over the course of seven starts before pitching a nice game against the New York Yankees in the ALDS.

With the Mariners showing that they are determined to improve this offseason, yet not necessarily contend, Saunders would be a perfect fit for the next season or two.

Jack Zduriencik would be wise to pick up the starter before another team does.