Monday, November 10, 2014


By Michael Wong

Phoenix, AZ.--More from the first installment of the Winter Meetings which officially kick off today. 

-The Seattle Mariners once again will be big players this Hot Stove Season and word is they are already zeroing in on free agent 1B/DH Victor Martinez as the key to their offseason.  A year after giving Robinson Cano a monstrous free agent deal to steal him away from the New York Yankees, the Mariners will look to do the same with the aging but obviously still on top of his game Martinez.  Coming off a career-high 32 home run season, Martinez reportedly is looking for a four-year contract.  The Detroit Tigers won't let Martinez get away without a fight however according to a team source.  The Tigers official stated that they love the way Martinez makes good on a high number of the fastballs he receives batting in front of or behind Miguel Cabrera. 

In addition to Martinez, the Mariners are also looking closely at free agent SS Hanley Ramirez to help fill a perennially weak spot for them.  There figures to be a lot of completion for Ramirez who could get a $120 million deal. 

-The Los Angeles Dodgers are determined to break up the team's outfield glut either during this Winter Meetings session or the one next month.  It appears as though they will try and capitalize on the comeback season of Matt Kemp last year and move him out in an attempt to also get away from his massive contract.  With Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, Carlo Crawford, and Joc Peterson all in the mix, the Dodgers now have five outfielders for three spots.

-Speaking of the Dodgers, they appear content to let free agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez bolt in free agency, so bad was he in the locker room as he was when with the Miami Marlins. 

-Tough calls today with the qualifying offer deadline on Monday for Pittsburgh Pirates SP Francisco Liriano and Colorado Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer.  A player has yet to accept a qualifying offer since the system was first put into place but both men are seriously entertaining the offer. 

-The New York Yankees ideally want Chris Young as their top outfielder backup after they re-signed him on Sunday to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million.  They are willing to give him a small chance to claim an outfield spot however in order to see if he can continue the big power hitting he showed when he came over the second half last season.

-The Yankees are also considering making a run at Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, who reportedly is on the block.  This despite the fact Andrus' ridiculous 8-year extension kicks in for 2015.

-Another suitor for Hanley Ramirez appears to be the San Francisco Giants but the Seattle Mariners remain the top team who is the most likely to offer a blockbuster contract.

-The Kansas City Royals are interested in a reunion with SP Ervin Santana as the Atlanta Braves have little interest in brining him back.

-Free agent outfielder Nori Aoki wants a three-year deal and the Chicago White Sox remain interested.

-The Boston Red Sox and the reps for free agent 3B Pablo Sandoval have begun dialogue on a contract.  We have reported here that the Red Sox won't be denied on Sandoval and they already are making inroads there.

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