Mariners indeed were pushing hard for Hamilton
For what it’s worth, I’m hearing now the Mariners indeed were in hard on the pursuit of Josh Hamilton and had strong hopes of landing the slugger before he chose the Angels today.
Though Jack Zduriencik suggested last month that Seattle wouldn’t likely be in position to pursue Hamilton at his original seven-year, $175 million target, the Mariners indeed were willing to go after him full bore on a shorter deal.
Hamilton wound up taking five years and $125 million from the Angels, without ever taking that offer back to the Rangers for a counter, much to Texas officials chagrin as my MLB.com colleague T.R. Sullivan wrote about today.
I’m not sure exactly where the Mariners fell in those negotiations — and maybe its even more frustrating for fans if the team tried, but still came up short. But it is interesting that they were in the hunt to the end, which was not the case last year with Prince Fielder when the Tigers went with more years and dollars than anybody else was willing to stomach.
Whether that means the club feels any of the remaining free agents like Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn or Cody Ross is worth a similar push remains to be seen. There also figure to be trade possibilities. The Rockies are looking for pitching and likely would be willing to move Dexter Fowler or Michael Cuddyer, but their real gem — Carlos Gonzalez — would come at an extremely high cost.
The Angels suddenly have a surplus of outfielders and certainly could be talked out of speedster Peter Bourjos, though the Mariners seemingly would find a thumper like Mark Trumbo or Kendrys Morales more useful.
The Tigers’ Brennan Boesch has been mentioned as a possiblity, though that one probably won’t excite too many folks. The D-backs might be willing to part with Jason Kubel in the right deal.
Let’s face it, when it comes to trade possibilities, it’s very difficult to predict anything and the Mariners — as with the Jesus Montero and Ichiro deals in the past year — usually come out of the dark and surprise everyone.
Sounds like they tried doing the same with Hamilton, but wound up losing out to the Angels. As they say, coming close doesn’t really matter unless you’re talking about horse shoes or hand grenades. So we move on.