Gauging the market for hitters

Teams in search of first-base help who don't want to splurge on Loney can choose from the above four options in trade. The Toronto Blue Jays will listen on Lind, and the Rangers are keeping an open mind on Moreland, but both players will probably stay put unless their teams can find the right package in return.

The New York Mets have been much more active in shopping Davis, whose OPS has declined from .925 to .771 to .661 since 2011. The Mets spoke to the Brewers earlier this week and talks went nowhere when they asked for pitcher Tyler Thornburg, but that doesn't mean discussions can't be revisited.

Finally, there's Smoak. If the Mariners loved what he brings to the table, they wouldn't have gone out and acquired Morrison. Seattle's first base-DH glut will be eased somewhat if manager Lloyd McClendon can play Hart in the outfield and divvy up the first-base and DH at-bats between Hart and Smoak. But it won't shock anyone if Smoak is dealt before spring training. Like Davis, he's a prime candidate for a change of scenery.

Kendrys Morales

The Mariners gave Morales a $14.1 million qualifying offer in November, and you have to wonder if he's going to sincerely regret declining it.

With Hart, Morrison, Smoak and Jesus Montero in the mix, the Mariners are awash in first base-DH types, so they no longer have a place for Morales. He makes more sense for the Angels, who need a hitter to replace the departed Mark Trumbo. But the Angels appear more interested in Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez, who'll be cheaper and won't require them to surrender a draft pick as compensation.

Boras has proved in the past that he can find good deals for players who are being squeezed by the market, but he certainly appears to be in a box with Morales. And it might take him until January or even February to find his way out.

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