Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik says the Mariners are looking to acquire starting pitching depth, relief help, a backup shortstop and offense this offseason. Here are more of Zduriencik's updates on the Mariners from an afternoon conference call with reporters:
- Zduriencik declined to comment on negotiations with specific free agents, including Prince Fielder (the Mariners are interested). The GM said the Mariners may turn to the free agent market for offense if they can match up with available players in terms of years and dollars.
- "We will explore several options, even trades," he said. "But there aren't any promises on these things. You don't know where you're going to end up at."
- The Mariners are looking forward to bounce-back years from Franklin Gutierrez and others who struggled with injuries in 2011.
- Zduriencik will explore ways of adding starting pitching, but feels that arms such as Taijuan Walker, James Paxton and Danny Hultzen give the Mariners pitching that may contribute soon.
- "When you look at some arms that are pretty close and you look at some arms we have in the Major Leagues, we have some pretty strong assets here," he said.
- The Mariners will again be a young team in 2012, but the front office will likely add some veterans to complement the existing group.
- Zduriencik expects restrictions on spending in Latin America to have more of an effect after this year. He likes the options on the international free agent market, but isn't promising to sign any of them.
- "There are some nice pieces out there," he said. "But they're not going to come inexpensively."