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Be Patient

You might not have to wait much longer for the Mariners to make a splash.

Three different baseball sources said the Mariners and Millwood's agent, Scott Boras, have been working toward a deal, with one source saying Seattle has tendered an initial offer of four years and $44 million, potentially with an option for a fifth year.

That's mega-big, particularly for an initial offer. It's the kind of thing that says "we want you, so here's a ton of money, just sign on the dotted line and let us get to work on the rest of our roster." I don't really think that Millwood's going to be an $11m+ player for the next four or five years, but he looks like a pretty safe gamble (at least, as far as pitchers are concerned), so I'm not going to make a big to-do about anything. We need some starters, and with Burnett essentially off the market, Millwood's the best one left. I'll take him.

Later on...

One trade possibility could involve sending reliever Julio Mateo to Tampa Bay in a package that would get outfielder/designated hitter Aubrey Huff in return, a person familiar with the Devil Rays' thinking said, but Boston appeared to be "hotter" on Huff's trail.

"Seattle does want Huff, but I don't know if it's going to happen," the source said.

It's probably for the best that this doesn't happen, because Huff's a frustrating hitter who doesn't really have the kind of bat you look for in a DH, nor the glove you look for in a left fielder. It'd be one thing if the Mariners dealt away some salary in exchange, but grabbing Huff is going to take talent (certainly more than Julio Mateo), and I'm not comfortable with the idea of giving away a quality prospect or two so that the Mariners can make a $7.5m gamble that Huff suddenly remembers what he did two years ago. I'd rather the Red Sox try to figure him out. As nice as it'd be to bring in a left-handed power bat, we really don't need to add another guy to the lineup who took a massive step back offensively during the supposed prime of his career.

The last thing I want to mention...

If the Mariners do sign Millwood, they most likely will not do it until after midnight on Wednesday, the deadline for clubs to offer arbitration to eligible players. That way, they won't have to surrender a high second-round draft pick (their first-round pick is protected), something Bavasi said the club didn't want to do.

"It would be a rare guy where we felt we would have to pull the trigger before the 7th," Bavasi said.

And here we see the departure from Pat Gillick's organizational philosophy - where Raul Ibanez was worth giving up a first-round pick two Novembers ago, now it would take someone better than Kevin Millwood to get Bavasi to surrender a second-rounder. I can't tell you how happy that makes me.

Update: on Millwood, here's another link, this one from the News-Tribune. This whole story has seemingly come out of nowhere, but we could be on the verge of another big offseason splash.