It’s heating up in Orlando, at least outside

Though the Winter Meetings are now underway, there’s nothing very “wintery” about things here in Orlando, Fla.

Not complaining , for sure, as this must be the only place in the U.S. where it’s warm and humid today with temperatures already in the 80s this morning.

Now we’ll see whether things heat up on the Hot Stove as well. It should be an interesting four days, given many teams — including the Mariners — have already aggressively begun their offseason shopping.

The meetings kicked off moments ago with the announcement of Tony LaRussa, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Expansion Era Committee. One of other contenders was Ted Simmons, one of Jack Zduriencik’s special assistants in Seattle and a former standout catcher.

On the Mariners front, Seattle won’t officially announce the Robinson Cano signing until later this week, presuming he passes his physical exam. But obviously that agreement sent a message to baseball that the Mariners are willing and able to do business — big business — and Zduriencik will continue pushing to add a few key pieces to his young club in the next days and weeks.

Not all the moves will be glamerous. The Mariners need a backup catcher. They need a veteran bullpen arm or two. They need outfield depth. But they well could make another bigger splash, either in trade or free agency, given the desire to add a prominent outfield bat as well as a starting pitcher.

The premier free agent pitching market is the one area that hasn’t moved much yet, so this week will be interesting on that front.

I’m on site at the Walt Disney Swan & Dolphin Resort and will update as news happens and after we sit down with Zduriencik for daily updates every afternoon. And hopefully I’ll get a chance to slide outside every now and then to see the sun, which is a warm and welcome sight after a chilly week in Seattle.

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