In sports, rumors constantly get exchanged and misinterpreted as if the web is playing the telephone game with them. I'll be attempting to sort out the true from the fictitious, but first, here's a roundup of what actually happened this past week in Mariners news.
Seattle signed veteran free agent catcher Ronny Paulino to a minor league contract, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman via mlbtraderumors.com. The 31 year old is a solid hitter and will provide a veteran presence backing up Jesus Montero unless Mike Zunino makes the 25 man roster.
The Mariners have also been continuing talks with ace Félix Hernández on extending his contract which currently ends at the conclusion of the 2014 season. Greg Johns of MLB.com tweeted that Jack Zduriencik has, "every intention of keeping Felix here for the long term." While this is good news for the Mariners, losing Felix would put a huge damper on everything the organization has done to build around him. For my money though, I'll say they work something out.
Speaking of pitching, lefty Joe Saunders has drawn interest from the Mariners and Orioles among other teams, according to a tweet from CBS' Heyman. Darren Wolfson reported via mlbtraderumors.com that the Twins are also chasing Saunders, so we'll wait and see what happens here. The Twins are only willing to offer Saunders a one year contract, not the three year deal he desires.
Michael Bourn has been another name thrown around the rumor mill. With The Upton brothers joining Jason Heyward in Atlanta's outfield, a return to the Braves can be ruled out.
However, Mlbtraderumors.com reports several teams are interested in Bourn, including the Mariners, Orioles, Cubs, Dodgers, Mets and even the Braves, so at this point it would be wise to use caution when learning of Bourn to Seattle possibilities.
Bourn is the biggest name still available outside Kyle Lohse. Signing Bourn would be huge for the M's, giving them a natural leadoff hitter and lightning fast outfielder who covers acres of space.
With pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training in two weeks, the end of the offseason is sure to be full of more rumors and panicked general managers.