Cano Headlines Major Roster Moves for Seattle
Last Friday Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik – or self-proclaimed “Original Jay-Z” – made a huge splash in the MLB off-season by signing the Yankee great Robinson Cano to a enormous contract of 10-years, $240 million.
Some call it desperate, some necessary. I find it a refreshing splash of water for the fan base – a fan base who so desperately needed the refreshment.
Similar to someone who had woken from a hangover, drank sand and sucked on a hair dryer. On a hot day. In the Sahara.
Yes, Mariner fans needed SOMETHING to breathe life into this program that has been “rebuilding” since 2001.
Well it cost a butt-load of dough, but we got the best 2nd baseman in baseball.
These may be overlooked as average off-season pick ups, but really think about what we just obtained.
Corey Hart – 31
He missed all of last season due to knee surgery. Long story short, his value was limited on the market. However, before last season he played in 149 games and hit .270 with 30 home runs.
He has been a consistent hitter throughout, with an average of .276 and 154 home runs – 26 home runs per 162-game average. In comparison, Mariner right fielders last season combined for a batting average of .238 and averaged 16 home runs over a mean of 93.25 games played.
Not to mention we signed him to a low-risk/high-reward contract of 1 year for $5 million.
Logan Morrison – 26
Now Morrison is another story. He came into the league in 2010 as the league’s #2 ranked prospect. And his rookie year did not disappoint.
In 62 games he batted .283, then followed up with 23 home runs in 2011. He showed promise of a young player with pop, but got lost in controversy.
The young and charismatic Morrison became an instant hit with the Marlin faithful in his first two seasons, and was well-known as a twitter-addict. He may have gotten a little too comfortable on the social media site in 2011, when he posted a humorous anecdote regarding his 80-year-old manager Jack McKeon:
“Jack McKeon asked me what I had going on tonite. Told him I was going home 2 play w/ Twitter. He replied ‘oh, what kind of dog is it?”
Soon after, Morrison was demoted to Triple-A. A move he and his agent both were disgruntled with, insisting that it had nothing to do with his play – which at the time was rather impressive for a second-year player.
Since the incident, Morrison has struggled at the plate. Last season he hit .242 with 6 home runs in 85 games.
Nevertheless, he just turned 26 in August and has the potential to be a major steal in this deal.
If he can turn his attitude around.
With the addition of Lloyd McClendon as the new manager – a fiery, passionate coach who some compare to Lou Piniella – there are pieces in place to keep Morrison in check.
With these acquisitions – and Zduriencik claims there are more to come – the Mariner lineup isn’t a joke anymore, in fact it has some solidity at the heart of the order.
With the current additions, here is a potential look at the lineup next season:
- Brad Miller – SS
- Dustin Ackley – CF
- Robinson Cano – 2B
- Corey Hart – RF
- Kyle Seager – 3B
- Logan Morrison – DH
- Justin Smoak – 1B
- Mike Zunino – C
- Michael Saunders – LF
This is a very “hypothetical” lineup, and has many areas for improvement.
For instance, I would much rather find room for Nick Franklin and get rid of Saunders – or maybe add a right-handed hitter that can hit lead-off or second, so there aren’t 3 consecutive left-handed hitters leading off.
Some also think Seager is more of a 2-hitter, but with his deceptive power and tendency to pull the ball I would want someone with more ball-placement ability in that spot.
Now this is all extremely premature, and strictly opinion-based. But the core of the lineup – Cano, Hart, Seager – is something I think the fans can really get behind.
The Seattle Mariners’ season is something to look forward to. And not in a rebuilding way.
But keep an eye out, because there are many more moves to be made.
P.S. If you are worried about how healthy Hart is feeling, take a peek at this video: