Mariners make free-agent offer
GM keeping position player's name under wraps
SEATTLE -- Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik told reporters on Monday that he has made an offer to a free-agent position player and hopes to know something "in the next 24 to 48 hours."He wouldn't name the player, but it isn't Ken Griffey Jr. "I have had some discussions with Ken Griffey's agent, and we talked of some possibilities," Zduriencik said, "but it was more inquiry than anything else. Nothing more than that." Griffey's agent, Brian Golberg, told MLB.com on Friday that nine MLB organizations had inquired about Griffey, who is a free agent for the first time in his 19-year big league career. Goldberg would not identify any of the organizations, though he did say six of them were in the American League. Griffey began his storied career with the Mariners in 1987, when he was selected No. 1 overall in the First-Year Player Draft. He reached the Major Leagues two years later and hit 392 of his 611 career home runs in a Mariners uniform. He has expressed a desire to end his Hall of Fame career with the Mariners. "The conversation I had with his agent was very cordial," Zduriencik said. When asked if the Mariners had interest in the 39-year-old outfielder, Zduriencik said, "I don't know if I am prepared to answer that yet. We'll see how the roster unfolds in the next 10 days to two weeks." He was referring to the annual Winter Meetings, which will be held at the Bellagio in Las Vegas from Dec. 8-11. Meanwhile, free-agent left-hander Alan Embree told MLB.com on Monday that his agent has received interest from 10 organizations, including the Mariners. "There's a lot of interest," said Embree, "so it's nice to know that I'm not going to be out there looking for a job." Embree, who lives in Vancouver, Wash., confirmed that the Mariners are among the teams who have called and noted that the team's recent hiring of former A's bench coach Don Wakamatsu as manager makes Seattle an attractive option for what he suggested would be his 16th and final season in the big leagues.
"It does make it more appealing," Embree said. "The combination of being close to home and having the relationship I had with Wak last season is definitely a good one for me."Embree, who turns 39 in January, signed a two-year, $5.5 million deal with the A's before the 2007 season to serve as their primary lefty setup man, and he was one of the rocks of the Oakland bullpen in his first year with the club. He made 70 appearances and racked up a career-high 17 saves while then-closer Huston Street was sidelined. The Mariners could be interested in Embree as a late-inning setup reliever for closer J.J. Putz. The position has been open since the trade of Arthur Rhodes to the Marlins this past season.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. Mychael Urban contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.