Didi Gregorius causing Mariners to scramble?
Written by Jon Shields on December 11, 2012 @ 07:51PM      Jump To Comments

Getty Images The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired slick-fielding shortstop Didi Gregorius from the Cincinnati Reds in a three way trade with the Cleveland Indians, possibly ending their highly publicized search for a shortstop. There were rumors that Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers might use stud outfielder Justin Upton to bring in someone with a high profile -- such as All-Stars Asdrubal Cabrera and Elvis Andrus, or super-prospect Jurickson Profar -- but now he appears content with an all-glove-no-bat guy that cost a lot less to obtain.

With shortstop sewn up, Upton suddenly appears to be off the table once again.

And with that, many now wonder if a Josh Hamilton-Rangers reunion is inevitable. The Rangers didn't get to spend their money on Zack Greinke, weren't able to land Justin Upton (for now), and haven't been seriously connected to alternatives like Nick Swisher or Michael Bourn.

As part of Arizona's Gregorius acquisition, Cleveland right fielder Shin Soo Choo went to Cincinnati. Cleveland had already been strongly linked to Swisher, but with Choo out of the picture and some money freed up, they're now in a position to make an even more aggressive push for Swisher.

With Hamilton, Upton, Choo and Swisher all connected to the Mariners at some point this offseason, this trade might have muddied up four of GM Jack Zduriencik's strategies for upgrading his corner outfield.

All is not lost just yet. The Rangers still have the assets to woo the Diamondbacks and pry Upton away, which could leave Hamilton open. Cleveland is one of the few places Seattle can compete with as a free agent destination. Michael Bourn appears to be down to zero obvious suitors and could be had. Cody Ross is still available as a fall-fallback. Not to mention any number of trade scenarios we haven't yet had to consider.

Regardless, Zduriencik probably gained a sense of urgency on Tuesday evening.