Jason Vargas is off to a hot start with the Mariners, but when they acquired him in the 2008 J.J. Putz deal, he wasn’t considered a major part of the trade. GM Jack Zduriencik tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he asked for Vargas while trying to “finish up the deal.” Here are the rest of Rosenthal’s hot stove-related notes:
- One NL official wonders how the D'Backs can operate without a left-handed reliever in a division that includes many imposing left-handed hitters.
- The Royals fired manager Trey Hillman last week, but his baseball career is probably not over. Hillman is still "well-thought of in the industry," according to one GM.
- Rocco Baldelli could make a comeback this year. He's a special assistant to the Rays, and he continues to hit daily. The 28-year-old outfielder hit .253/.311/.433 for the Red Sox last year in 164 plate appearances.