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December 6, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Mariners to meet this afternoon with agent for pitcher Jeff Francis

Join us here periodically as we roam the hallways of the Hilton Anatole hotel to bring you live footage of the goings on at the baseball winter meetings.
Just as I told you about an hour ago via Twitter, the Mariners will meet early this afternoon with Jim Lindell, the agent for pitcher Jeff Francis, who pitched last season with the Kansas City Royals.
Lindell lives in the Seattle area, so he knows all about the Mariners and their needs. The two sides have had prior discussions on the pitcher by phone.
Don’t expect any deals to get done here at the meetings. My sources tell me that there are several Francis suitors out there, essentially the teams that lost out on the Chris Capuano bidding.
Capuano signed a two-year, $10-million deal with the Dodgers.
I’m told the Francis camp expects to get at least a two-year offer.


Ran into Mariners vice-president and international scouting director Bob Engle in the hallway here. Engle recently returned from The Natherlands, where he was lending support to the family of Mariners outfielder Greg Halman.
Halman was stabbed to death 15 days ago. His brother, Jason, remains the lone suspect and is being held under psychiatric care until authorities figure out whether to charge him criminally or remand him to further long-term treatment in a facility.
Engle said the team continues to lend any support it can to Halman’s family, which he plans to be in touch with later this week.
The big issue on tap for Engle today was a meeting about the new rules governing Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement. Engle said he really doesn’t know how the rules will impact operations, other than forcing teams to allocate dollars in a different way because of spending limits.
“It will be interesting to see what they give us,” he said.

In a breaking deal here, the Toronto Blue Jays announced that they’ve re-acquired pitcher Sergio Santos from the White Sox for pitcher Nestor Molina. Santos used to be an infielder in the Jays’ minor league system until being converted to pitching by the White Sox.
See Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos above speaking to reporters in previously live-recorded footage now available for recorded view.

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