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December 10, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Teams keep making big moves, Mariners content to wait

Free agent pitcher Zack Greinke signed a six-year, $147-million deal with the Dodgers, spurning the Texas Rangers, who are now expected to keep pursuing Mariners hitting target Josh Hamilton. Photo Credit: AP

We’ll have that meet-and-greet with new Mariners outfielder Jason Bay later this afternoon to bring to you. In the meantime, other teams kept making big moves over the weekend while the Mariners have yet to pull the trigger on anything major.

The Zack Greinke domino did indeed fall and it wasn’t to the Texas Rangers, as had been expected. Greinke wound up staying in Los Angeles, signing a six-year, $147 million deal with the Dodgers that allows him to move over from the Angels. What this means for the Mariners is that their likelihood of getting a short-term bargain on Josh Hamilton just dwindled a bit. The Rangers are also interested in keeping Hamilton around and now have the money to do that after missing on Greinke and trading Michael Young to the Phillies.

We’ve heard — courtesy of Ken Rosenthal of FOX — that the Mariners were exploring three-year deals with Hamilton. But if the Rangers were to go one year beyond that, then Seattle would either have to cough up bigger annual money or extend a five-year offer. That’s still less than the six-or-seven-year deal Hamilton was said to be seeking when the off-season began, so we’ll see how far the Mariners are willing to go with some actual competition for Hamilton’s services.

But that scenario posed at the end of the winter meetings — where the Rangers would sign Greinke and bow out of the Hamilton running — leaving the Mariners to grab a really quick deal based on parameters they’ve already laid out with Hamilton’s camp? Unlikely to happen now. But like I said, Hamilton’s still out there. The Mariners don’t have to wave the surrender flag just yet on him, or any other top free agent out there. Last I checked, Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn still haven’t signed anyplace and Seattle still has money sitting around that is supposedly available to be used this off-season. There remain obvious options for the Mariners to upgrade this team both in the short and long term.

The other major move took place yesterday when the Royals traded top prospects Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi to the Rays in a deal that brought back starting pitcher James Shields and swingman Wade Davis (expected to go back to starting full-time now that he’s out of Tampa Bay). My first reaction to this trade was Mariners-related, naturally, since some had wondered whether Seattle could go after Myers, a guy who made sense for a rebuilding club.


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