Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti mentioned during the Winter Meetings that he was working on a deal to add another infielder capable of playing multiple positions. Ken Gurnick of MLB.com was told by a league source that the Mets’ Daniel Murphy was their target and that they make may a run at him again sometime in the future.
It’s not clear what the Dodgers would have offered in return, but Colletti acknowledged that the trade unraveled when the other club satisfied its need without trading the player he wanted. If Murphy was indeed the target, that was likely a reference to this week’s trade that brought outfielder Andres Torres and right-hander Ramon Ramirez to New York.
Murphy batted .320/.362/.448 with six home runs, 49 RBI and an .809 OPS over 423 plate appearances this year before suffering a torn MCL in his left knee in early August. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is doing his due diligence by discussing him in different trade scenarios, but the 26-year-old currently projects as the team’s starting second baseman next season.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Mariners will sign Ichiro Suzuki to a minor-league deal. If he makes the roster he’ll make $750,000. At least until he retires.
I say that because it seems quite clear that the idea here, telegraphed since last season, is to activate Ichiro for the Mariners’ series against the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo on March 20-21 and for hoopla surrounding it all. The Mariners and A’s will have a 28-man roster for that series, which is officially part of the regular season schedule, but it will be pared back down to 25 once games begin in the United States.
Suzuki, 45, hit .205/.255/.205 in 47 plate appearances through May 2 last season, at which point he agreed to be deactivated to join the Mariners’ front office. Many assumed Ichiro would announce his retirement later that season or during the offseason, but the Japan Series soon crystalized as an obvious way for him to offer his final farewell to both his American and his Japanese fans.
Unless of course he goes 6-10 with three doubles in that series, at which point everyone will be tempted to keep him on the roster past Japan. Which, given the Mariners’ rebuild and likely poor performance this coming season, wouldn’t exactly be hurting anyone, would it?