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AL West Notes: La Stella, Mariners, Heim, Rangers, Andrus, A’s

Before Tommy La Stella signed a three-year, $18.75MM deal with the Giants, the infielder drew some attention the Mariners, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link).  La Stella would’ve been an intriguing add for Seattle, providing a mostly right-handed hitting lineup with some addition balance from the left side.  La Stella likely would have slotted in as the everyday second baseman — supplanting the planned Ty France/Shed Long/Dylan Moore timeshare at the position — and also seen some activity at first base or even third base when Kyle Seager required an off-day.

It isn’t known if the M’s were specifically keyed in on La Stella, or if they could still be looking for another regular infielder.  There isn’t much in the way of infeld options remaining in free agency that would provide as clear an upgrade over the France/Long/Moore trio, though one would suspect Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto is as open as ever to trade possibilities.  Surprisingly, “Trader Jerry” has only swung one deal this offseason — acquiring Rafael Montero from the Rangers.

More from the AL West…

  • Athletics GM David Forst spoke to reporters (including Shayna Rubin of the Bay Area News Group and Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle) about today’s big five-player trade with the Rangers.  Oakland first touched base with the Rangers about Elvis Andrus back in November, and quickly circled back to Andrus after the A’s top shortstop option (re-signing Marcus Semien) was no longer a reality.  Catcher Jonah Heim had drawn interest from Texas for the last two years, Forst said, so the young backstop was a natural inclusion in the trade.
  • While Forst didn’t confirm today’s reports of an agreement between the Athletics and Mike Fiers, he did say that “pitchers are a target for us right now” in both the rotation and bullpen.  “I made a lot of calls on relievers todayThere’s a lot of talent at the end of the bullpen and not a lot of experience, and we feel like there’s some options that can add to the experience,” Forst said.  “We are shopping a little late, but we have some targets in mind and are excited to add to the team.”  As for other positions, Forst said the team is pretty satisfied with its current second base mix of Chad Pinder, Tony Kemp, Vimael Machin and Sheldon Neuse heading into Spring Training, so another infield addition doesn’t appear to be in the cards.
  • In other division news from earlier today, the Astros and Carlos Correa avoided an arbitration hearing by agreeing to a contract for the 2021 season.
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