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Greetings from the baseball winter meetings in Indianapolis, where Larry Stone and myself will be on-hand all week. I can tell you that Chone Figgins will take his physical tomorrow and then — as long as he passes — the Mariners will announce the four-year, $36-million deal later in the day or early Tuesday. I’d bank on the latter.
We were on-hand to see Jack Zduriencik and his entourage, including top scout Tom McNamara , assistant GM Jeff Kingston and M’s vice-president Bart Waldman, arrive and check in. Plenty of folks rushed to see Zduriencik, expected to be one of the stars here this week as far as deal-makers go.
There is a report out on Fox Sports that tells us what we’ve all known for the past few days — that the M’s have begun very preliminary discussions on a long-term pact with Felix Hernandez. Zduriencik told us this week that he expects to continue the discussions here with Hernandez’s agent, Alan Nero. But the two sides are nowhere close to a deal at the moment, so this is nothing to get excited about.
The one new tidbit in the report is that it says the team has offered Hernandez a four-year, $45 million deal.
I doubt Hernandez bites on that kind of money: he can make $10 million this year and perhaps $15 million next simply by going to arbitration. But the four-year amount of the deal gives you an indication of what the M’s are looking for: not a very long contract, but hardly surprising given how teams have been burned by lengthy pacts with pitchers.
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