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December 6, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Mariners tried to get Adrian Gonzalez from San Diego in order to flip him next summer

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Nothing doing here in Florida as far as the Mariners are concerned, though I’m told by a source that the team made a strong play to land first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the San Diego Padres. Gonzalez was eventually dealt to the Boston Red Sox.
The catch is that Gonzalez is only under contract for 2011 and then becomes a free-agent. Seattle was never, I’m told, looking at him for beyond that timeframe. Instead, the M’s merely wanted to keep him a few months and then flip him at the trade deadline in July the way they did last summer with Cliff Lee.
That meant Seattle offered up fewer prospects than the Red Sox, who intend to try to sign A-Gon long-term. In fact, the Red Sox and Gonzalez’s team are said to have laid the framework for a seven-year, $154 million deal but are waiting until April to announce it so Boston won’t be penalized by the luxury tax rules.
So, nothing further brewing there where Seattle is concerned. The Mariners are, I’m told, kicking the tires on veteran catcher Gregg Zaun, as they did a year ago. Seattle is to meet with Zaun’s agent at some point in the next day or two.
Last year, the M’s looked at Zaun as a type of insurance for Rob Johnson as the latter recovered from double-hip surgery. This year, Johnson’s future in largely uncertain. I’m told he arrived in Arizona about a month ago to begin serious daily workouts. Last year, the workouts were largely about getting his hips stronger. This year, instead of rehabbing, he’s working to improve his all-around catching. It’s the first time in a while he’s been healthy enough to do that, so we’ll have to see.
We’ve all seen the Twitter rumors about the M’s going after non-tendered Braves left fielder Matt Diaz. I can’t independantly confirm that, but it makes perfect sense. Diaz, 32, is a right handed bat and could spell Michael Saunders in a left field platoon. He’d been a .300 hitter before tailing off last year, but still posted a .739 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.
The M’s are also in need of some veteran leadership. We met just over an hour ago with M’s GM Jack Zduriencik and he talked about how he’d like to add some veteran experience if the right player came along.
“If you can bring some veteran leadership here, that would be very nice to be able to do,” Zduriencik said. “Because I do think that with the young guys…and I don’t know how the club is going to end up shaping itself out. Because some of these young guys we’re talking about have options. And I think that as we walk through this, they’re not on scholarship. They’re not guaranteed to be in a certain position on the field. You’d better earn it. That’s the thing we want.”

Another veteran the M’s are rumored to have looked at for a corner infielder/DH role? Onetime Oakland A’s third baseman Eric Chavez, sidelined by injury woes for most of the past four years, playing only 154 games since 2006. ESPN writer Jerry Crasnick tweeted that one not too long ago.
Again, it’s not surprising the M’s would take a look at just about any low-cost, higher ceiling gamble. But as with Zaun, there’s a big gap between taking a look and actually making a concrete offer. Something to keep in mind.



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