It is hard to tell what the Mariners are up to right now. It is always somewhat hard to tell with how quickly and quietly the front office moves. We know for sure there is action behind the scenes; they have proven that time and time again. What exactly is going on right now though?
The Mariners could be done for the time being. Jack Zduriencik has made it abundantly clear that nobody in the media knows the M's budget constraints. Estimates range from virtually nothing left to around $10 million. Still, no matter what the number is, it seems safe to say that there is relatively little left to spend.
Personally, I would be fine taking the current team to spring training. The Mariners hardly sat on their hands this off-season. The 2010 M's aren't going to look like the 2009 version. Some friendly faces are gone, but some shiny new parts have been added. It isn't a perfect team, but nobody is in the AL West. I like this roster's chance to be in the hunt around the trading deadline, when new options will be available.
However, the Mariners could also be playing a waiting game right now. The free agent market is still saturated with a fair amount of solid talent. The landing places for the players still out there have dwindled too. It all adds up to some of them being left out in the dark.
For instance, look at Jarrod Washburn. Where will he land? The Brewers were a logical landing place until they signed Doug Davis. I am pretty sure Jarrod's top choice at this point would be Seattle. That's not a choice that excited me at the start of the off-season, but what if he could be had for around $2 million?
The same can be said for Orlando Hudson, Felipe Lopez, Erik Bedard, Jermaine Dye, John Smoltz, Rocco Baldelli, and Pedro Martinez (in no particular order). Throw Johnny Damon in the group too, now that the Yankees are out of the running (though Oakland seems legitimately interested in him).
I don't see the Mariners making any moves the next few weeks, though I have to admit that goes against pretty much everything we've seen out of the Jack Z front office. He always has something up his sleeve. Maybe I would be a little more proactive about adding a starting pitcher, but for the most part, I would wait out the market right now. The M's have flaws, but not enough to cripple the season. They can afford to wait, play the percentages, and maybe net a decent addition for a bargain price.