Are Mariners up to something big?

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The Mariners’ acquisition of Jack Wilson and Ian Snell from the Pirates for five players, including former No. 3 overall pick Jeff Clement, puzzled many.

In appearance, the trade makes Seattle look like a buyer, when at 7.5 back in the AL West and 6.5 back in the wild card, it might seem more prudent to be a seller.

But Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times thinks that the Mariners might have something else up their sleeve:

Here’s another reason why this move might have been made. We’ll know by Friday if it was the reason. And that is the idea that perhaps the Mariners now have another deal in the works, a much bigger one involving Washburn, where they can land a top young shortstop prospect.

One problem with this idea is that the market for Washburn seems to be shrinking. The Brewers’ recent fade may have convinced them to pull out of the market altogether. Same for the Rays. The Phillies, obviously, don’t need him.

That leaves who? The Yankees, perhaps. The Rangers? Not so likely seeing as how the teams are in the same division. The Red Sox? Maybe, if they fail to land Roy Halladay.

Also a possibility, as Buster Olney reports, is that the Mariners will hold onto Washburn and try to sign him to a contract extension, maybe the most likely scenario of all.

Let the head-scratching continue.

Report: Orioles interested in Jarrod Dyson

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Free agent outfielder Jarrod Dyson is still a possible target for the Orioles, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The outfielder has received limited interest after entering free agency this season, due in part to the season-ending sports hernia surgery he underwent last September. To that end, Kubatko says, the team has verified his medicals and no red flags appear to have surfaced so far.

Dyson, 33, managed a modest .251/.324/.350 batting line, five home runs and 28 stolen bases in 390 plate appearances for the Mariners last year. He didn’t overwhelm the competition at the plate, particularly during an injury-riddled second half, but still showed himself capable of maintaining the speed and defense that have become his calling cards over the last five seasons. Kubatko notes that while Dyson doesn’t appear to be seeking an everyday role again in 2018, he could be a “useful player” for Baltimore if he remains healthy.

The Giants have also tossed their hats in the ring for Dyson this winter, going so far as to call him their primary non-Lorenzo Cain candidate. Nothing is close to being finalized, however, and ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that both Dyson and the Giants are still talking to other interested parties. The Orioles, too, are exploring alternatives to Dyson, and are rumored to be in talks with an anonymous right fielder who could conceivably platoon in right field and help provide depth behind Adam Jones in center.