LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Baseball fans who love Hot Stove rumors and maneuvers often say they can't wait for the Winter Meetings. And this year, Major League Baseball's general managers seemed to agree, as many teams already have made significant moves even before setting foot at Walt Disney's Swan & Dolphin Resort for the four-day gathering.
Count the Mariners among those with an itchy trigger finger, as Seattle pulled a big shocker already, coming to agreement Friday with former Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano on a blockbuster 10-year deal that will rank among the largest in baseball history at $240 million.
But there is considerable work yet to be done -- with Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik still among those expected to be at the forefront of the activity -- as the Winter Meetings begin Monday and continue through the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday morning.
MLB.com will be on top of the action from start to finish with its 30 beat writers and a host of columnists. You can follow all the Mariners news on Mariners.com and offer your own thoughts on who Zduriencik should be targeting next in the comments section on each story.
Is pitching a priority now, and is it possible for the Mariners to pursue one of the premier free-agent arms, even after landing the best available hitter? And if so, with almost all the top hurlers still on the market, would you prefer Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana, Bartolo Colon or Bronson Arroyo?
Or should Zduriencik marshal his resources toward adding more offense, given the team still is shy on outfielders? Is it crazy to think the Mariners could also entice Shin-Soo Choo or Nelson Cruz, now that Cano has changed the landscape?
And what about designated hitter? Is bringing back Kendrys Morales on a longer-term deal the best bet, or do you fill in with a one-year deal to Raul Ibanez or another lower-priced veteran and spend the big bucks elsewhere?
Zduriencik and his staff will be weighing all those options -- and also pursuing a back-up catcher and bullpen help -- in the coming days. Not everything will get done this week, but clearly teams aren't in a patient mood and the action could be interesting at the Swan & Dolphin.
Zdurirencik will update Seattle's media contingent each afternoon, and we'll provide the news from those sessions on Mariners.com. Additionally, all 30 managers will be in attendance at the meetings and conduct individual press briefings, with new Mariners skipper Lloyd McClendon scheduled to talk on Tuesday afternoon.
Given that the Mariners are expected to finalize and announce Cano's signing sometime this week as well, there will be no shortage of topics. In addition to all our stories on Mariners.com, I'll provide frequent updates on my Mariners Musings blog, and you can catch me on Twitter at @GregJohnsMLB for the most immediate updates.
So follow all the news from Florida and even jump on board yourself, and let us hear your comments and questions as baseball's Hot Stove season comes to a simmer in the shadow of Disney World.
Now let the deals begin. Or continue, as seems the case this year.