John Hickey of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer discusses the Mariners' offseason situation in today's column. Let's summarize.
- Jose Guillen will probably decline his $9MM option for '08, no surprise there. An "inside source" of Hickey's doesn't expect him back with Seattle. That puts Ichiro in center and Adam Jones in right, which hopefully makes up for the unpleasantness of Raul Ibanez in left.
- Hickey sees the Mariners having about $15MM to spend this winter. If $10MM of that went to Guillen the Ms would be severely limited in pitching acquisitions. Instead they should and probably will just spend all of it to get at least two hurlers.
- As you know, Hiroki Kuroda is on the radar. I can't figure out what kind of contract to expect for Kuroda. I'm guessing two or three years at at least $5MM per. I can't think of a good comparable, as Matsuzaka and Igawa were not free agents.
- U.S.S. Mariner believes Bartolo Colon is the "hidden gem of free agent pitchers," and officially endorses signing him. They suggest he could net a one-year, $9MM deal or maybe two years, $16MM. That sounds fair and I agree that Bart looks like a possible bargain. Scour the free agent list - who's your #1 bargain among starters? Viva El Birdos likes Jon Lieber. I'll cast a vote for Brett Tomko.
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