Winter Meetings Day 2: Mariners Rumor Roundup
Written by Jon Shields on December 04, 2012 @ 07:50PM      Jump To Comments

Getty Images Day two is in the books. Let's round up the madness.

Jason Bay - Monday concluded with the report that free agent outfielder Jason Bay was a good bet to sign with the Seattle Mariners. Tuesday brought more confirmation that the two sides were working out a deal, but nothing was made official. The consensus reaction to this rumor seems to be that the Mariners have everything Bay might offer and more in Casper Wells. Bay, now 34, played atrociously for three seasons with the New York Mets and doesn't offer much hope for a miracle recovery, Safeco's incoming fences be damned. A minor league contract is one thing, but the Seattle Times' Geoff Baker reports that Bay would sign a Major League deal.

Bay, who will be paid big bucks by the Mets this season, isn't without incentive to try and get as much money as possible according to's Adam Rubin, which is abnormal in this situation. Still, it's hard to imagine Bay signing for much more than the league minimum.

The Indians are also pursuing Bay according to's Jordan Bastian.

Bay hit just .234/.318/.369 in three seasons with the Mets while missing time with injury.

Nick Swisher - The Mariners were linked to the jovial outfielder earlier in the offseason but seemed a longshot to sign him given the interest of more prestigious squads. Just a few days later and now Swisher's market seems to be drying up a bit. Following Shane Victorino's signing with the Boston Red Sox, MLB Trade Rumors' Tim Dierkes suggested that the "Mariners seem to be the favorite." USS Mariner's Dave Cameron also believes that the Mariners are in a better position to nab Swisher today than they were yesterday and that the price may be coming down.

A couple weeks back Pro Ball NW's Brendan Gawlowski and Griffin Klett argued for and against a Swisher signing.

Swisher has been remarkably consistent throughout his career and is coming off a season in which he hit a very strong .272/.364/.473 with the New York Yankees. Swisher could play right field and first base for the Mariners.

Justin Upton - The Mariners have continued interest in the Arizona Diamondbacks slugger according to's Jon Morosi. However, the Diamondbacks' main objective this offseason seems to be the acquisition of a high-quality Major League shortstop, something the Mariners don't have, as noted by Prospect Insider's Jason Churchill and CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.

The Cleveland Indians have a shortstop that could interest Arizona in Asdrubal Cabrera and the Mariners have the young pitching required to get him back from the Tribe, so a multi-team trade -- not unlike the one's David Schoenfield recently proposed -- that nets the Mariners Upton and Diamondbacks Cabrera could be a possibility. The Diamondbacks have explored multi-team trades for a shortstop, reports Yahoo's Jeff Passan.

Upton had a down season in 2012 but is just 25 years old and put up monster numbers as recently as 2011.

Michael Bourn - CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Mariners have some interest in the speedy center fielder Bourn, most recently of the Atlanta Braves. With the Braves (B.J. Upton signing), Washington Nationals (Denard Span trade), and San Francisco Giants (Angel Pagan signing) settling their center field voids, Bourn has watched his market begin to dry up.

Bourn isn't the bopper the Mariners seem to need, but he's a valuable offensive player nonetheless and an elite defender in center field. Bourn hit .274/.348/.391 while stealing 42 bases last season all while rating as the game's most valuable defender by UZR/150.

In the event of a Bourn signing Franklin Gutierrez could be moved to a corner spot (despite being arguably better or equal to Bourn defensively) or shift into a part-time role that might help keep him healthy.

More first basemen/DH/emergency outfielders - Yesterday we saw the Mariners connected to Jason Bay, Billy Butler, Mike Morse, Adam LaRoche and Garrett Jones, among others. Today brought grumblings of a few new players with similar skillsets. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman connected the Mariners with free agent Mark Reynolds, the Seattle Times' Geoff Baker hears the Mariners have contacted free agent and two-time Mariner Raul Ibanez's agent, while CBS Sports' Danny Knobler reports that Seattle touched based with the Diamondbacks regarding Jason Kubel.

If GM Jack Zduriencik is convinced that his club needs power and he misses out on the Swishers and Josh Hamiltons of the world, these guys are his plans X through Z.

Assorted rumors and tweets of interest: