Roundup: Mariners active on several fronts

Roundup: Mariners active on several fronts

Loose talk and tight lips on a busy Thursday around the Hot Stove:

Seattle getting Figgy with it
FOXSports.com reported Thursday night that the Mariners are the "clear frontrunners" to sign free-agent third baseman Chone Figgins, according to multiple Major League sources. Figgins is versatile enough to play second base if Adrian Beltre accepted the team's offer of arbitration, and even to play outfield.

Mets get backup Blanco
The Mets reached an agreement with veteran backup catcher Henry Blanco on Thursday night. Multiple news outlets reported the one-year deal to be worth $1.5 million. Blanco, 38, hit .260 in 96 games for San Diego last year and is regarded as a good defensive catcher.

Red Sox move past Placido
Philadelphia's signing of Placido Polanco didn't exactly crush Boston, which came to an agreement with Marco Scutaro, according to a source close to the situation, MLB.com's Ian Browne reported. The team has yet to confirm any agreement, but a physical is scheduled for Friday.

Mariners stepping up for Bay
Seattle, which resorted to seven left-field starters to make it through the 2009 season, has "made a concerted push" for free agent Jason Bay, according to the Seattle Times. Typically, the Canadian native's residence in Kirkland, Wash., is given as a reason he'd consider signing with the Mariners, who play in a park not far from his front door. However, we saw how little that can mean a year ago with Mark Teixeira, who has a hometown in Maryland, a house in Texas -- and now a locker in The Bronx, after rejecting offers from the Rangers and Nationals to sign with the Yankees.

Saito says 'yes' to Braves
Atlanta's construction of its bridge to new closer Billy Wagner has begun with Takashi Saito, as the 39-year-old free-agent right-hander signed a one-year contract for $3.2 million.

Cubs, A's swap five players
In the day's lone trade, the Cubs sent infielders Aaron Miles and Jake Fox to Oakland in return for three younger players, right-handers Jeff Gray and Ronny Morla and infielder/outfielder Matt Spencer. The Cubs also included cash as their part of the deal to offset Miles' $2.7 million salary for 2010.

The Uggla truth
The Giants are showing persistent interest in Florida's Dan Uggla, "one source" tells FOXSports.com, as an answer to their need for right-handed power. Another "person close to Uggla" informed the Web site that he expects to be dealt somewhere during the offseason. San Francisco already has a second baseman, but Freddy Sanchez, recently signed to a new two-year contract, is regarded a superior defensive player who could easily switch to third.

Catching up with G-Men
Now that the Giants have decided not to offer arbitration to Bengie Molina, they have joined Brad Ausmus' most recent team, the Dodgers, in pursuing the 40-year-old catcher as a logical mentor for prospect Buster Posey, FOXSports.com reports.

Penny, Uribe nixed one-year deals
For more on the Giants, including general manager Brian Sabean's revelation that the club's one-year offers to free agents Brad Penny and Juan Uribe were turned down, check out this blog entry

Phillies make a deal with Polanco
The Phillies, who dealt Polanco to Detroit in a mid-2005 trade that netted them infielder Ramon Martinez and Ugueth Urbina, made up for that travesty by agreeing to a three-year deal with the free agent infielder. Polanco is expected to re-position himself at third, leaving his Gold Glove at second, where he made 10 errors in 2,119 chances over the past three seasons.

Castro also in Phillies' cast
Philadelphia's Thursday infield renovation actually began with the versatile Juan Castro, whose expected signing to a one-year contract was announced before GM Ruben Amaro Jr. dotted his Is and crossed his Ts with Polanco.

A Braves new world
Wondering why Atlanta felt confident enough that both Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano would reject its arbitration offers to jump for Wagner? Wonder no more: One general manager told MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman that the two Type A relievers are "the two most sought-after relievers on market."

Mariners' inside job?
Seattle is "actively pursuing" John Lackey and also "showing strong interest" in Rich Harden, according to a FOXSports.com report alternately citing someone "familiar with the team's plans" and a "Major League source." Gee, could the records within the American League West of ex-Angel Lackey (39-25) and ex-Athletic Harden (15-7) have anything to do with that?

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Change for a Nickel. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.