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December 7, 2009 at 8:29 AM

Mariners have informal chats with agents for Felix Hernandez, Russell Branyan; still in on Jason Bay

The first day of the baseball winter meetings is underway here in Indianapolis, where a light dusting of overnight snow and cool temperatures are keeping everyone indoors as much as possible. That’s made it easy to cover some ground this morning.
I can tell you the M’s have yet to hear from Adrian Beltre and his decision on whether or not to accept arbitration is keeping Seattle in a holding pattern as far as the rest of what they can do. Obviously, if the M’s were to have to commit $12 million or more to Beltre for 2010, they would have to curtail plans on some other free agent targets.
One of those is Jason Bay. The M’s remain interested in securing his services in some capacity — as a left fielder, or maybe even a part-time DH — but need to know how much money they have to spend first. The Chone Figgins deal is going through and was never contingent on any Beltre decision. But other moves are. Beltre has until midnight eastern time to inform the Mariners of his decision.


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On the Bay front, I’m told today that reports the Red Sox would prefer to sign Matt Holliday over Bay have been greatly overstated. One thing the Red Sox are leery about is Holliday’s potential pricetag, which could exceed $100 million when all is said and done.
They have offered Bay four years, $60 million.
Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik had a informal chat today with Alan Nero, the agent for Felix Hernandez. The two plan more serious discussions for later on at these meetings but are really no closer to a deal than they were this time a week ago.
Zduriencik also had an informal chat last night with Dan Horwits, a partner of Dan Lozano and one of the agents for Russell Branyan. The two also plan a formal sit-down for later on at these meetings. Once again, what happens with Beltre will dictate where the M’s can go on some of their other free agent targets, including Branyan.

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins

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