Seattle Mariners: Playing Fact or Fiction with the Latest Rumors
So far, it's been a quiet offseason around Major League Baseball, but more and more teams are showing increased interest in multiple players, putting the pieces in place for an exciting winter.
The Mariners are a team with a lot of options this offseason and have shown interest in multiple big names already.
But which of those, if any, are realistic options?
Here's fact or fiction on the latest Seattle Mariners rumors.
Buster Olney speculated that the Mariners could go after Matt Garza, after they made their offseason indications clear.
Seattle Mariners have indicated winter priorities to others: No. 2-type starting pitcher (Garza?); closer; two frontline power hitters.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 15, 2013
Garza's definitely a possibility for Seattle, and he'd provide the pitching rotation with a huge boost, giving the M's a nasty 1-2-3 punch atop the staff.
Garza's career has been somewhat of an enigma to this point. His ERA, WHIP, K/BB ratio are all good, but his career record is 87-87. He hasn't necessarily been on bad teams, either.
The 2006 Twins won the A.L. Central and the 2008 Rays went to the World Series. Sure, he's had a couple years with the Cubs, but being a part of two solid organizations like the Twins and Rays would yield a better win/loss record, one would think.
That being said, he'd be another all-star caliber pitcher in Seattle and he's definitely in the Mariners' price range.
Fox Sports' Jon Morosi reported earlier this week that the Mariners could trade for Rockies speedy outfielder Dexter Fowler.
They'd likely have to give up some farm talent, but this isn't outside the realm of possibility for Jack Zduriencik and the Mariners, especially since they wouldn't have to part ways with one of their big three (Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, Danny Hultzen).
Tyler Pike would be a likely candidate to trade. Pike, a 19 year-old lefty hurler, went 7-4 with a 2.37 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 22 starts for class A Clinton last season and is listed as Seattle's fourth best prospect according to the team's site.
Given that this would be a trade and not a free agent signing, Fowler wouldn't have a choice, whereas a free agent would. Call me crazy, but I don't see Seattle as a popular destination for big name free agents this winter.
Butler is just entering his prime (age 27) and is surrounded by young talent in Kansas City. The team was still in the playoff hunt deep into the season, and it would be ludicrous for them to break that up now, after recording their first winning season since 2003 and only their second plus .500 year since 1993, when Butler was likely tearing up his local Little League.
Needless to say, if the Royals were to somehow part ways with their fan favorite everyday first baseman, it would come at a hefty price, one Seattle can't afford to pay.
A week ago, Tim Brown of Yahoo sports tweeted that Seattle has shown interest in colorful relief pitcher Brian Wilson.
From what I can gather, teams most interested in Brian Wilson are: SF, LAD, Cle, Det, Col, Sea, Bos. Cin cd climb in, depending on Chapman— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) November 13, 2013
Per Brown's tweet, plenty of other teams are involved in the Wilson sweepstakes, one of which is the Detroit Tigers. Based on their need compared to Seattle's, I'd say they're the frontrunners.
The Mariners don't currently have a surefire closer on the roster, but their need for one doesn't surpass or even equal their need for other positions, namely outfielders.
I don't see Seattle pushing very hard for Wilson, so this rumor gets a fiction verdict.
Jon Morosi sent out a simple tweet saying the Mariners have shown interest in Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, who is surprisingly available.
Sources: Mariners have expressed interest in trading for Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, who is available. @FOXSports1— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 13, 2013
Seattle's payroll flexibility combined with their dire need for an outfielder makes this a legitimate possibility. Zduriencik has offered members of the big three before, so a chance to get Kemp certainly won't stop him from doing it again.
The Mariners are seemingly interested in just about everybody this offseason, but given the magnitude of this potential deal and the effects it could have on the team's success, Zduriencik will likely pursue this harder than any other transaction if there's any kind of agreement on both sides.