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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

November 24, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Miguel Cabrera on the block, Mets look at Branyan

A couple of items for your perusal. With talks between the Mariners and Tigers on the Curtis Granderson/Edwin Jackson front said to be stalled and a deal “pretty doubtful” (according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick’s sources), a new Tigers name is now said to be on the trading block: Miguel Cabrera, he of the one MVP vote that didn’t go to Joe Mauer. (FYI, Albert Pujols WAS unanimous for National League MVP today, and rightly so).

Lynn Henning of the Detroit News has all the details, and Buster Olney of ESPN, in a ranking of teams that could bid on Cabrera, lists the Mariners (after the Red Sox, Angels, Mets, White Sox and Giants…but before the Braves).

A couple of thoughts: One, just because talks on the other two guys are stalled now, in late November, doesn’t mean they won’t be unstalled at some point. I’m sure the Tigers are asking for a Mariner prospect (Carlos Triunfel?) they don’t want to give up. It’s called negotations for a reason.

Also, Olney makes the valid point that while Cabrera would fill a huge need, his price tag is oppressive for a team that presumably is trying to get Felix Hernandez to take truckloads of its money:

2010: $20 million

2011: $20 million

2012: $21 million

2013: $21 million

2014: $22 million

2015: $22 million

It’s an intriguing thought to imagine Cabrera at first base and in the middle of the M’s lineup. But I wouldn’t pin any hopes on it quite yet.

  • Also, the New York Post reports that the Mets may be looking at Russ Branyan, as well as Nick Johnson, as one-year platoon options at first base.

    I’ve got to think that if he’s offered only one year, Branyan would choose to return to the Mariners, who have had a one-year offer, plus an option, on the table. And if not, Johnson would be a possible alternative in Seattle. He is a great on-base guy (an absurd .477 in 35 games with Florida last year, .426 overall in 133 games, and .402 career). Johnson also has shown some pop (23 homers in 2006) but he had just eight homers last year in 457 at-bats. He also has had big trouble staying healthy, so it’s somewhat of a risk. But he’s intriguing, and a West Coast guy (Sacramento).

    I wrote that before seeing this item from FOX’s Jon Paul Morosi, who has his usual potpourri of Mariner rumors. Morosi mentions Johnson, Casey Kotchman and Lyle Overbay (in a trade in which the Blue Jays pick up most of his $7 million salary) as possible first-base options for the Mariners beyond Branyan.

    So many different avenues that Jack Zduriencik can take this winter.

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