The Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Jon Paul Morosi reports the Mariners have expressed strong interest in two of the Mets’ alleged offseason targets, Japanese free agent C Kenji Jojima and Devil Rays OF Aubrey Huff.
Jojima and his agent, Alan Nero, had dinner with Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln, COO Chuck Armstrong and international scout Hide Sueyoshi. The evening was “not a negotiation session,” Nero said, contradicting a local media report that a deal had been finalized.
“We’re not even close,” Nero said. “We’re just dating. Everyone wants us to get married. We’re just trying to get to know each other.”
Jojima toured Seattle during the day, with an eye toward gauging the city’s livability for his young family. Nero, who also represents phenom Felix Hernandez, said Jojima’s trip is “75 percent family, 25 percent baseball.”
Jojima, who was unavailable for comment Friday, will address his free agency in a Tuesday news conference at Nero’s Chicago-area office. Asked if Jojima could sign a contract before he leaves Seattle at the end of the weekend, Nero said, “We haven’t even started talking money yet, so it would be presumptuous to assume that. But anything’s possible.”
If you’re getting dizzy trying to keep track of which way free agent 1B Paul Konerko might be leaning, Jay Strell recommends the Chicago Tribune’s Konerkometer, which I’ll be checking at least twice an hour.