Day two at the Winter Meetings and we are finally hearing rumors that the Mariners are not only involved in talks with Prince Fielder, but, according to former general manager and current ESPN analyst Jim Bowden via Twitter, they are the current front-runners for his services.
“Mariners are now front= runners onFielder with Milw,Cubs & Tor all wanting shorter term deals….stay tuned,” Bowden tweeted.
It is early in the process and no sources are cited. It is clear, however, the Mariners have interest and Jack Zduriencik told “Brock and Salk” today that “We have had our dialogue, with a lot of entities, and as we go through the week we will wait to see how it unfolds. Everyone is holding their cards fairly close to the vest. Dialogue is ongoing, that’s all I can say.”
Zduriencik has made it clear that a Fielder deal or deal with any premier free agent must make sense for the club both in dollars and years. A tricky balance no doubt establishing the value of the player versus what he brings to the club in terms of winning, and in the Mariners’ case, winning soon. How far can Zduriencik go?
“It depends what the move turns out to be and it depends on a lot of factors,” he said. “Where is the end game to this whole thing?
“There will be a point, there’s no doubt in my mind,” he continued, “if it gets to a certain point we are not going to be in it, that’s just the way it is. Is there is a point where we are in? Is there a point where we say we are not going there with any of these players because of the risk involved, the length, the dollars, the commitment and all of those things? We will find out where we are at as the week unfolds.”
There is a limit. The deal must make sense on many levels and it most likely is a deal that cannot be completed without approval from ownership. If the time is right and the deal is right, Zduriencik feels he will have that support.
“At the end of the day, whether it is a year from now, two years from now or three years from now, the ownership group here, the organization, whether it is this year, will step up and give us the resources that we absolutely need to get us over the top and I think we are all excited about that,” he said.
As Jim Bowden said, stay tuned.