Could ex-Cubs third baseman and free agent Kris Bryant find a match with the Mariners?
Baseball's lockout ended Thursday and free agency is reopened, and there's already some buzz around Bryant and the Mariners on the rumor mill.
Seattle was linked to Bryant in free agency before the lockout and tried to acquire him from the Cubs before last summer's trade deadline. The Mariners have payroll flexibility and are looking to add a marquee hitter to their up-and-coming roster this offseason.
“We want to add some impact to our offense,” Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto told reporters, including Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, Friday. “Minimally, we want to go get one impact bat, whether that’s free agent or trade remains to be seen.
Bryant fits that description, and Dipoto's Friday comments echo what he said about the Mariners' offseason outlook before the lockout — when he was directly asked about Bryant as a fit.
“He’s a great player, which is evidenced by the career he’s had to date,” Dipoto said of Bryant at the GM Meetings in November.
“We have a variety of different ways we can address our team,” he said. “We are most interested in players who have the versatility to do a couple of different things, because it allows us to be creative in how we fill those gaps. But at the end of the day we want to improve our talent base, and we want to improve our run-scoring capability.”
Whether it leads to a match between the two sides remains to be seen. For what it's worth, Bryant is also the focus of one man's Mariners recruiting campaign.