Contacts blabbed and reporters tweeted. Here's what we were told is going on in Marinerland on day three.
Jason Bay - New York Post's Joel Sherman kicked off the morning by suggesting that the Cleveland Indians had surpassed the Seattle Mariners in their pursuit of the downtrodden outfielder, but it would seem that Sherman was off base. In line with rumors from days one and two, Bay-to-Seattle seems imminent. New York Daily News' Andy Martino reports that the deal is done pending a physical.
The move isn't expected to impact GM Jack Zduriencik's other pursuits. Prospect Insider's Jason Churchill and the News Tribune's Ryan Divish each suggest that the Bay signing changes nothing and Mariner manager Eric Wedge tells Divish that Bay isn't going to be handed a roster spot.
Josh Hamilton - No one ever expects the Mariners to land a premium free agent but it's not stopping Zduriencik from elbowing for position. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman writes that "the Mariners are by no means giving up on Hamilton" while ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes relays a source's message that the Mariners may have a leg up on the Boston Red Sox, who are believed to be Seattle's chief competition after the Texas Rangers.
Texas won't go five years to sign Hamilton according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, and instead might be focusing on signing free agent ace Zack Greinke and trading for Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton.
If it's worth it to them, the Mariners could give themselves a clearer line to Hamilton by helping get Upton to their rivals. FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mariners have been one of the teams involved in the rumored multi-team trade centered around Upton and Cleveland Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. In that scenario, Cabrera would go to Arizona, Upton to Texas, and southpaw Derek Holland to Seattle, among the other moving parts.
[Edit to add: The Seattle Times' Geoff Baker has a source saying the Mariners are "very close" to getting something done with Hamilton. As very close is the only part of the quote, it's tough to know exactly what that means. If it meant Hamilton was close to signing on the dotted line I have a feeling Baker wouldn't be the only one with the scoop. I'd guess that it means the two sides are more or less agreeable on the terms of a deal, but Hamilton is waiting for things to play out to figure out if he really has to go to Seattle.]
A few other players were connected to the Mariners in day three:
#Nationals remain confident they will get LaRoche. Morse then could be dealt to Mariners, who have big interest.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 5, 2012
If #Nationals trade Mike Morse they would probably want package to include a top lefty reliever.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 6, 2012
Mariners, Indians and Red Sox among teams still in Nick Swisher market.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 5, 2012
Jason Kubel remains a #Mariners trade target even with Jason Bay deal apparently imminent.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 5, 2012
#mariners like bourn very much. Other possibilities include phillies and rangers (tho tex is in many, many other things)— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 5, 2012
Big Pelf getting a lot of play: mariners, indians, twins, others— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 5, 2012
A few more tidbits:
Theme of the 2012 winter meetings: "Doesn't [insert dollar figure] seem like a lot for [insert player name]?"— Jorge Arangure (@jorgearangure) December 6, 2012
An extension for Felix Hernandez appears extremely unlikely this winter. Talks with #Mariners didn't get very far.— Ken Davidoff (@KenDavidoff) December 5, 2012
it appears the #Mariners 40-man roster is full. Was told they won't be too active in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft.— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) December 5, 2012
@proballnw hey, no big targets taken, eliminated, or blocked. Okay.— Jordan Husband (@JordanHusband) December 6, 2012
I couldn't spend as much time tonight as I did on days one and two, so let me know if I missed anything juicy.