The Mariners were hit with some depressing news today. Starters Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker will likely start the season on the DL. Iwakuma has a sprained middle finger on his pitching hand and Walker has bursitis in his shoulder. This means that there are only two confirmed starters in the M’s rotation to start the season. Felix Hernandez and James Paxton are locks, but three spots will be up in the air and will be filled by the end of Spring Training.
The M’s can either stay inside the organization to fill these spots or acquire an arm or two from outside the organization. There are some qualified arms in camp from non-roster invitees to roster players.
Non-roster invitee Scott Baker has the best shot of winning a spot in the rotation. Baker made three starts for the Cubs last season after recovering from Tommy John surgery in 2012. He was already under consideration to win a spot in the rotation before the injuries to Iwakuma and Walker. Now he has an even greater shot to win a spot. Baker had double-digit wins from 2008-11 with the Minnesota Twins. He pitched two scoreless innings of one-hit ball for the Mariners against the Angels this afternoon.
Randy Wolf is another non-roster pitcher to have a shot at making the rotation. Wolf has the most experience of any pitcher in camp. He has made 368 starts in 14 big league seasons. Randy has 132 career wins and has made one All-Star appearance in 2003. Wolf missed all of last season with a torn ligament in his elbow. He finished 5-10 with a 5.65 ERA in 2012, so Spring Training will be used as a barometer to see if he has anything left in the tank. His first start of the spring will be against the Indians tomorrow.
The last non-roster invitee with big league starting experience is Zach Miner. Miner has only made double-digit starts in two big league seasons. He seems better suited for a role in the bullpen and make spot starts on occasion.
Erasmo Ramirez and Brandon Maurer are two pitchers on the roster with big league starting experience. Ramirez experience some success last season. He got two wins in the month of July, but had an ERA of 7.71 in the month. His best month of the season came in August. Ramirez had a record of 3-1 with a 3.90 ERA for the month. He was up and down last season. Ramirez needs to show consistency in the spring to make the team. Maurer made the roster out of Spring Training last season. He struggled for most of the season in the big leagues. Maurer got demoted during the season and finished the year in the bullpen. He needs to start the season in the Minors to get more polished and seasoned as a pitcher.
There is still one big free agent pitcher left on the market. Ervin Santana is still out there on the open market. Santana had a record of 9-10 with an ERA of 3.24 in 32 starts with the Royals last season. He is an innings eater going for 200 plus innings in five of his nine big league seasons and should thrive in the friendly confides of Safeco Field. Santana may still be looking for a big payday, but his price will continue to drop the closer it gets to opening day. The Mariners have looked at him for a couple of weeks and should pull the trigger on a deal.
The last avenue for the Mariners would be acquiring an arm through trade. The M’s have a lot of young players that other clubs could want. Second baseman Nick Franklin would be the most obvious player to trade for pitching. Franklin become available after the Mariners signed Robinson Cano to a 10-year deal. Tampa Bay is very interested in Franklin and have a surplus of young pitching to trade.
These are all the avenues the team could go to acquire pitching. The most likely scenario would be for the Mariners to use one pitcher already on the roster, one non-roster invitee and either trade or sign another pitcher to fill out the rotation. Erasmo Ramirez, Scott Baker and Ervin Santana would be my picks to fill out the last three spots of the rotation. Time will only tell what the Mariners end up doing for last spots in the rotation.
- Baltimore Orioles- Alexi Casilla and Quintin Berry
- Los Angeles Angels- Wade LeBlanc, Mark Mulder,Clay Rapada, Justin Thomas, Yorvit Torrealba, John McDonald, Carlos Pena, Ian Stewart, Chad Tracy, Brennan Boesch and Brandon Lyon
- Houston Astros- Peter Moylan, Rhiner Cruz, Cesar Izturis, J.D. Martinez, Adron Chambers, Gregorio Petit
- Oakland A’s- Philip Humber, Fernando Nieve, Dusty Brown, Luke Montz and Sam Fuld
- Toronto Blue Jays- Tomo Ohka, Juan Perez, Chris Getz, Dan Johnson, Munenori Kawasaki, Andy LaRoche, Mike Nickeas, Steve Tolleson
- Atlanta Braves- Yunesky Maya, Mat Gamel and Tyler Greene
- Milwaukee Brewers- Zach Duke, Robinzon Diaz, Matt Pagnozzi, Irving Falu, Hector Gomez, Taylor Green, Lyle Overbay, Mark Reynolds and Eugenio Velez
- St. Louis Cardinals- Pat Neshek and Scott Moore
- Chicago Cubs- Tom Hottovy, Jonathan Sanchez, Brian Schlitter, John Baker, Eli Whiteside, Chris Valaika, Ryan Roberts, Chris Coghlan, Aaron Cunningham, Ryan Kalish, Mitch Maier, Darnell McDonald and Casper Wells
- Arizona Diamondbacks- Daniel Hudson, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Adam Russell, Henry Blanco, Bobby Wilson, Mike Jacobs and Andy Marte
- Los Angeles Dodgers- Sam Demel, Daniel Moskos, Miguel Olivo, Chone Figgins, Brendan Harris, Justin Turner, Clint Robinson and J.C. Boscan
- San Francisco Giants- Jason Berken, Rafael Dolis, Juan Gutierrez, Kameron Loe, Sandy Rosario, Dan Runzler, Mason Tobin, Guillermo Quiroz and Brandon Hicks
- Cleveland Indians- David Aardsma, Scott Atchison, Matt Capps, Tyler Cloyd, Shaun Marcum, J.C. Ramirez, Mike Zagurski, Luke Carlin, Matt Treanor, Elliot Johnson, Brian LaHair, Matt Carson, Ryan Rohlinger, Jeff Francoeur, Nyjer Morgan and Jason Giambi
- Seattle Mariners- Scott Baker, Joe Beimel, Logan Kensing, Matt Palmer, Ramon Ramirez, Mark Rogers, Chance Ruffin, Manuel Pina, Humberto Quintero, Endy Chavez, Cole Gillespie, Randy Wolf and Zach Miner
- Miami Marlins- Henry Rodriguez, Chaz Roe, Kevin Slowey, Josh Spence, Reed Johnson, Ty Wiggington, Kyle Skipworth, Juan Diaz, Matt Angle and Joe Benson
- New York Mets- Daisuke Matsuzaka, Kyle Farnsworth, Taylor Teagarden
- Washington Nationals- Manny Delcarmen, Clay Hensley, Tyler Robertson, Daniel Strange, Koyie Hill, Chris Synder, Jamey Carroll, Mike Fontenot, Brock Peterson and Will Rhymes
- San Diego Padres- Blaine Boyer, Alberto Gonzalez and Xavier Nady
- Philadelphia Phillies- Shawn Camp, Chad Gaudin, Cesar Jimenez, Jeff Manship, Sean O’Sullivan, Lou Marson, Andres Blanco, Reid Brignac, Ronny Cedeno, Bobby Abreu, Tony Gwynn Jr. and Clete Thomas
- Pittsburgh Pirates- Cody Eppley, Josh Kinney, Kyle McPherson, Daniel Schlereth, Adam Wilk, Omir Santos, Robert Andino, Matt Hague, Travis Ishikawa, Michael Martinez and Chris Dickerson
- Texas Rangers- Nate Adcock, Daniel Bard, Jose Contreras, Ryan Feierabend, Justin Germano, Colby Lewis, Rafael Perez, Aaron Poreda, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Brent Lillibridge, Josh Wilson, Bryan Peterson, Brad Snyder and Kensuke Tanaka
- Tampa Bay Rays- Steve Geltz, Mark Lowe, Eddy Rodriguez, Roman Ali Solis, Wilson Betemit, Jayson Nix, Ray Olmedo, Justin Christian, James Darnell, Jeremy Moore and Jerry Sands
- Boston Red Sox- John Ely, Rich Hill, Jose Mijares, Tommy Layne, Brayan Villarreal, Mike Mccoy and Brandon Snyder
- Cincinnati Reds- Trevor Bell, Jeff Francis, Chien-Ming Wang, Corky Miller, Max Ramirez, Argenis Diaz, Kristopher Negron, Chris Nelson, Roman Santiago, Roger Bernadina and Jason Bourgeois
- Colorado Rockies- Greg Burke, Manny Corpas, Pedro Hernandez, Nick Masset, Matt McBride, Michael McKenry, Paul Janish, Jason Pridie
- Kansas City Royals- Guillermo Mota, Brad Penny, Jon Rauch, Everett Teaford, Corey Wade, P.J. Walters, Ramon Hernandez, Adam Moore, Jason Donald, Brandon Laird, Gorkys Hernandez, Melky Mesa
- Detroit Tigers- Duane Below, Jhan Marinez, Luis Marte, Eduardo Sanchez, Luis Exposito, Danny Worth, Ezequiel Carrera and Trevor Crowe
- Minnesota Twins- Matt Guerrier, Lester Oliveros, Aaron Thompson, Jason Bartlett, Doug Bernier, Jason Kubel, Darin Mastroianni and Wilkin Ramirez
- Chicago White Sox- Dylan Axelrod, Deunte Heath, Brian Omogrosso, David Purcey, Zach Putnam, Mauricio Robles, Hector Gimenez, Miguel Gonzalez, Alex Liddi, Dennis Phipps, Blake Tekotte
- New York Yankees- Bruce Billings, Robert Coello, Matt Daley, Brian Gordon, David Herndon, Chris Leroux, Jim Miller, Yoshinori Tateyama, Russ Canzler, Corbin Joseph, Scott Sizemore and Antoan Richardson
There will be a lot of arrows being fired at the roof of Safeco Field in the coming season. The Mariners have reportedly signed closer Fernando Rodney to a 2-year deal worth 14 million according to many baseball insiders. There has been no comment made by the club as this deal will be finalized after a physical exam. Rodney recorded 37 saves out of 45 opportunities with the Rays last season. He has accumulated 172 saves in 11 seasons with the Tigers, Rangers, Angels and Rays.
The Mariners experienced troubles in the closer’s role last season. Former closer Tom Wilhelmsen started off the season strong getting 12 saves and gave up only two earned runs over the first two months of the season, but faltered the rest of the season. He had a 10.95 ERA in June and was sent down to Tacoma in August. Danny Farquhar took over the role from Wilhelmsen and converted 16 out of 18 save opportunities over the last two months of the season. Farquhar performed well in the closer’s role last season, but it looks like the M’s are going with a pitcher with more experience for the role.
Rodney had a sub par year last season compared to his 2012 season. In 2012, Rodney was second in American League with 48 saves, made his only All-Star appearance, finished fifth in Cy Young voting and had dominate stuff all stuff season long. In 2013, Rodney finished tied for seventh in the American League with 37 saves, but blew 8 saves and walked way too many bats to be a dominate closer. His sub par year could have stemmed from participation in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Rodney appeared in 8 games with 7 saves in 7.1 over the tournament. He appeared in 76 combined games and that could have had an effect on his arm last season. Rodney should put up better numbers in 2014 because he won’t have an extra workload from the WBC tournament. Let the arrows rain down in 2014 for the Mariners.
The Mariners have signed catcher John Buck to a 1-year deal worth 1 million. Buck posted stat lines of .219/15/62/.285/.362/.648 in 431 plate appearances between the Mets and Pirates last season. He will battle Humberto Quintero for the job of Mike Zunino’s backup in Spring Training. Buck will also give further depth to the catchers’ position in the organization. Outfielder Carlos Peguero was designated for assignment to make room for Buck on the 40-man roster.
Buck is more known for his offensive prowess than his skills behind the plate. He has tallied double-digit home runs in 8 of his 10 seasons in the MLB. His best season came in 2010 with the Blue Jays. He posted stat lines of .281/20/66/.314/.489/.802 in 437 plate appearances and was a member of the 2010 All-Star team. Buck played for most of last season at Citi Field and put up decent power numbers (6 home runs and 24 RBIs) in 51 games there. Citi Field has similar dimensions to Safeco Field, so it is safe to say that Buck will thrive in the ballpark.
He has not has as much success behind the plate. Buck lead the AL in errors committed by a catcher in 2009 and is 5th among active catchers in errors. John is 11th among active catchers in passed balls and 6th among active catchers in most stolen bases allowed. Not all of his defensive stats are bad. Buck is 14th among active catchers in runners caught stealing.
Buck is a nice low-cost signing that can challenge Quintero for the role of backup catcher. He will offer depth in the catching ranks of the organization. Buck will bring a power bat to the catchers’ position and a bat that can hit in a pitcher friendly ballpark, but will not offer great defensive behind the plate.
Mariners re-sign catcher Humberto Quintero to a Minor League contract with an invite to Spring Training. Quintero had stat lines of .237/4/13/.275/.366/.642 in 46 game with the Phillies and Mariners last season. In 22 games with the Mariners, Quintero had stat lines of .224/2/4/.257/.328/.586.
The Mariners only have catchers Mike Zunino and Jesus Sucre on the 40-man roster, so Quintero can add some depth to the position. Quintero filled in for both Zunino and Sucre last season after they went down with season ended injuries. Humberto can mentor young catchers on the Major League or Minor League level. He doesn’t have a lot of power in his bat, but he will offer great defense behind the plate. Quintero has the 50th best defensive WAR among all active players.
Quintero can offer depth to the catching position on a Major League or Minor League level. He can mentor young players in the system and fill in when called upon at the Major League level. Quintero doesn’t have a ton of power, but will give great defense behind the plate. This is a nice low-cost signing for the Mariners.
Craig Biggio- Had 3,000th hits in his career. That amount of hits alone should get a player into the Hall on the first try. Biggio ranks: 21st in hits, 16th in games played, 12th in at-bats, 33rd in total bases, 15th in runs scored and 5th in doubles in all-time stats. All of these numbers should justify him making it into the Hall. Because those numbers are worth joining baseball’s elite. Biggio was a 7-time All-Star, 5-time Sliver Slugger award winner, 4-time Gold Glove award winner and 1-time Roberto Clemente award winner in his 20-year career.
Tom Glavine- Had a record of 305-203 with an ERA of 3.54 in 4413.1 innings pitched over his 22-year career. Glavine ranks: 21st in wins, 118th in win-loss percentage, 59th in WAR, 28th in WAR for pitchers, 30th in innings pitched, 12th in games started, 173rd in shutouts and 29th in batters faced on the all-time list. He was a 2-time NL Cy Young award winner (1991 & 1998), 10-time All-Star, 5-time 20 game winner. 4-time Sliver Slugger and won the MVP of the 1995 World Series. Glavine makes easily makes the Hall with passing the 300 win plateau, but he is a sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer with all the other things he accomplished during his career.
Greg Maddux- Had a record of 355-227 with an ERA of 3.16 in 5008.1 innings over his 23-year career. Maddux ranks: 8th in wins, 94th in win-loss percentage, 25th in WAR, 8th in WAR for pitchers, 231st in ERA, 13th in innings pitched, 4th in games started, 71st in shutouts and 15th in batters faced on the all-time list. He was a 4-time NL Cy Young award winner (1992-95), 8-time All-Star, 2-time 20 game winner and a 18-time Gold Glove award winner. Maddux holds the record for the most Gold Glove awards for a pitcher with 18 and tied for third for most times winning a Cy Young award with 4. Maddux will be a first ballot Hall of Famer with his former long time teammate Tom Glavine.
Edgar Martinez- Was the best DH of all time. Martinez ranks: 96th in batting average, 21st in OBP, 68th in SLP, 34 in on base plus slugging percentage, 47th in doubles, 44th in bases on balls, 59th in runs created, 80th in times on base, 92nd in intentional walks and 88th in extra base hits all-time. He had an award named after him for best DH. All of the other people who have award named after them are already in the Hall.
People have used the excuse that because he did not play on the a defensive position his whole career, so he is not worthy of being in the Hall. By that logic starting pitchers of this era should not make the Hall either because they only pitch once every 5th day. He still want out there and competed at a high offensive level. If the DH position did not exist, several players would not have reached the 3,000 hit plateau in their careers. Martinez was a 2-time batting champ, 7-time All-Star, 5-time Silver Slugger and 1-time Roberto Clemente award winner during his 18-year career.
Jack Morris- won 254 games and pitched almost 4,000 innings over an 18-year career. Another impressive stat was he threw 175 complete games in his career. Morris was a great Postseason pitcher. He had a career record of 7-4 with an ERA of 3.80 in 13 starts. Out of those 13 career Postseason starts 5 of them were complete games. Morris brought his best stuff in the World Series. His career mark was 4-2 with a 2.96 ERA in 7 starts. Out of those 7 starts 3 were complete game performances.
People best remember Morris as being the pitcher that went 10 innings for the Twins in game 7 of the 1991 World Series. The Twins would go on to win the game and Morris was the MVP of the Series. Morris was also a 5-time All-Star and won 20 games 3 times in his career. This is Morris’ last year of eligibility to go into the Hall of Fame
Mike Mussina- Had a record of 270-153 with an ERA of 3.68 in 3562.2 innings over his 18-year career. Mussina ranks: 33rd in wins, 41st in win-loss percentage, 57th in WAR, 24th in WAR for pitchers, 66th in innings pitched, 19th in strikeouts, 33rd in games started, 203 in shutouts and 71st in batters faced on the all-time list. He was a 5-time All-Star and a 7-time Gold Glove award winner.
Mike Piazza- He is the all-time leader in home runs for a catcher surpassing greats like Johnny Bench and Yogi Berra. Piazza had career totals of .308/427/1335/.377/.545/.922 in his 16 year career. He was the 1993 NL Rookie of the year, 10-time Silver Slugger award winner and a 12-time All-Star.
Curt Schilling- Had a career record of 216-146 with an ERA of 3.46. He threw 3261 innings with 83 complete games during his career. One of the biggest reasons he belongs in the Hall is great performances in the Postseason. He was 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA in 19 starts with the Phillies, Diamondbacks and Red Sox. He pitched in 133 Postseason innings and was the co-MVP of the 2001 World Series with Randy Johnson. Schilling was a 6-time All Star and a 2-time 20 game winner over his 20-year career.
Lee Smith- One of the pioneers for the closer’s role in the MLB. He helped pave the way for greats like Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera to become household names as closers. Over his career Smith compiled 432 saves in 18 seasons. He has more saves than Hall of Famers: Rollie Fingers, Dennis Eckersley, Goose Gossage and Bruce Sutter. Smith is third on the all time saves list. He was a 7-time All-Star, 3-time winner of the Roliads Relief award (Best reliever), led the league in saves 4 times and finished second in Cy Young voting in 1991.
Frank Thomas- Had career stat lines of .301/521/1704/.419/.555/.974 in 8199 at-bats. Thomas ranks: 195th in batting average, 18th in home runs, 22nd in RBI, 20th in OBP, 22nd slugging, 14th in on-base plus slugging, 63rd in doubles, 42nd in total bases, 101 hits, 120th in at-bats, 81st in WAR, 51st in WAR for position players, 36th in offensive WAR, 75th in plate appearances, 71st in runs scored and 33rd in times on base on the all-time list. He was a 2-time MVP award winner (1993-94), 5-time All-Star, 4-time Sliver Slugger and a 1-time batting champion (1997). Thomas is a first ballot Hall of Famer based on ranking in the top 20 in 5 offensive statistics all-time.
The Mariners have acquired two bats during the last day of Winter Meetings. They have signed 1B/OF Corey Hart to a 1-year deal worth 6 million and the deal could reach 13 million with incentives. Seattle traded away reliever Carter Capps to Miami in exchange for 1B/OF Logan Morrison.
Hart posted stat lines of .270/30/83/.340/.507/.841 in 622 plate appearances with the Brewers in 2012. He missed all the 2013 season due to a knee injury. Hart will be the Mariners’ starting designated hitter and start in the outfield on occasion if his knees hold up. He has averaged stats of .276/26/87/.334 /.491/.824 over 162 game span. Hart will bat 5th in the lineup after 240 million dollar man Robinson Cano.
Morrison posted stat lines of .242/6/36/.333/.375/.709 in 333 plate appearances with the Marlins last season. He has appeared in only 178 games the last 2 seasons due to injuries. In 2011, Morrison appeared in 123 games to post stat lines of .247/23/72/.330/.468/.797. This was the only season that Morrison has appeared in over 100 games in his 4 big league seasons. Morrison will play the outfield and start at first on occasion.
The Mariners have been looking for bats that can hit left-handed pitching during the off-season. Last season, the Mariners’ hitters posted stat lines of .229/51/173/.293/.364/.657 against lefties while the club posted stat lines of .241/137/424/.312/.402/.714 against righties. Both of these new acquisitions have had success against left-handed pitching. Hart has been an absolute monster against south paws over his 9-year career. He has posted career stat lines of .300/44/128/.370/.526/.896 in 1025 c plate appearances. Even though Morrison is a left-handed hitter, he has had some success in his career against left-handed pitchers. Morrison has posted career stat lines of .244/9/52/.329/.378/.707 in 407 plate appearances.
These acquisitions offer some clarity on other moves the team is going to make this off-season. After the signing of Hart and the trade for Morrison it seems like Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez are leaving Seattle. Morales can only play 1B/DH and those spots are presumably filled by Smoak and Hart. Raul Ibanez can only play OF/DH and those positions are going to be filled by the combo of Hart and Morrison. The M’s will be losing 52 home runs and 145 RBIs with the departure of these two players. The additions of Cano, Hart and Morrison will be able put up higher numbers than those players produced last season.
The team will be out of the Shin-Soo Choo and Nelson Cruz sweepstakes. After acquiring two players that can play in the outfield today, it seems very unlikely that the team will pursue these two high-priced players. The Mariners can now focus on adding players to the pitching staff. Seattle is still in need of a starting pitcher and 1 or 2 relief arms.
Seattle has made some nice moves today. They have addressed a glaring hole on the roster with two players that can produce in the lineup. Both players can offer big production if they can stay healthy all year-long. Some players from last year’s roster will be leaving Seattle for other teams while this season’s roster looks close to completion. Everything is looking up for the Mariners in 2014 after today’s acquisitions.
- Diamondbacks, Angels and White Sox completed a 3-team deal. Diamondbacks will receive OF/1B Mark Trumbo and 2 prospects, Angels will receive pitchers Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago and the White Sox will receive OF Adam Eaton.
- A’s have traded pitcher Brett Anderson to the Rockies for pitcher Drew Pomeranz and Minor League pitcher Chris Jenson.
- Tigers sign OF Rajai Davis to a 2-year deal worth 10 million
- Mets officially announce the signing of OF Curtis Granderson to a 4-year deal worth 60 million at Granderson’s introductory press conference today. The team also re-signs pitcher Jeremy Hefner to a new deal
- Marlins officially announce the signing of 1B Garrett Jones to a 2-year deal worth 7.5 million today.
- Orioles sign pitcher Ryan Webb to a 2-year deal worth 4.5 million
- Rangers sign catcher J.P. Arencibia to a 1-year deal worth 2 million
Roy Halladay has announced his retirement from Major League Baseball after signing a 1-day contract with the Blue Jays. Halladay pitched for 16 seasons with the Blue Jays and Phillies. He will finish his career with a record of 203-105 and an ERA of 3.38 in 416 appearances (390 starts). Halladay was a 2-time Cy Young award winner (2003 with the Blue Jays and 2010 with the Phillies) and a 8-time All-Star over his career. Halladay amassed 20 plus wins in his 2 Cy Young award-winning seasons. During the 2010 season, Halladay threw a perfect game against the Marlins and tossed a no-hitter in his first career postseason start against the Reds.
The question now arises: is Halladay worthy of a spot in the Hall of Fame? Halladay’s career numbers rank: 106th in wins, 41st in pitching WAR, 345th in ERA, 17th in winning percentage, 97th in WHIP, 180th in innings pitched, 60th in strikeouts, 138th in starts, 636th in complete games and 244th in shutouts on the all-time list. BaseballReference.com has a measuring system that rates players chances of making the Hall of Fame based on Bill James’ saber metric formulas. The systems incorporates measures known as: the black ink scale, the gray ink scale, Hall of Fame scale and Hall of Fame monitor. Black ink scale is based upon how often a player lead the league in a vareity of important stats and the gray ink scale is the same except it counts appearances in the top ten of the league. The Hall Fame scale testes the player’s value as a pitcher or batter and the Hall of Fame monitor tests how deserving a player is of the Hall of Fame.
Halladay scored a 48 on the black ink scale, 180 on the gray ink scale, 126 on the Hall of Fame monitor and 45 on Hall of Fame standards. An average Hall of Famer scores a 40 on the black ink scale, 185 on the gray ink scale, 100 on Hall of Fame monitor and 50 on the Hall of Fame standards. With the combination of new and old schools stats it would seem that Halladay has a great chance of making the Hall of Fame after a great 16-year career.
The Seattle Mariners have signed second baseman Robinson Cano to a 10-year deal worth 240 million. Cano posted stat lines of .314/27/107/.383/.516/.899 in 681 plate appearances last season with the Yankees. Cano’s deal with the M’s is the 3rd largest contract in baseball history. This deal trails only Alex Rodriguez two contracts worth 275 and 252 million apiece and is tied for 3rd with Albert Pujols at 240 million.
Cano becomes the highest paid player in M’s history. He easily surpasses the previous highest paid player in staff ace Felix Hernandez, who received a 175 million extension for 5-years from the team before the 2013 season. He also becomes the highest paid free agent signing in M’s history. Cano’s deal tops the free agent deal of 64 million over 5 years that Adrian Beltre signed before the 2005 season.
Robinson will become the M’s everyday second baseman and will bat third in the lineup. He greatly improves the offense. Cano has posted on average stat lines of .309/24/97/.355/.504/.860 a season over his 9-year career. He has hit at least 25 home runs and driven in at least 94 runs over the last 4 seasons. Over that same 4-year span, the Mariners have had 1 player hit more than 25 home runs and had no players drive in 94 runs or more. Cano will also bring a decent glove to second base. He can be counted on to make an impact of every game as he has played in at least 159 games in a season since 2008.
The Mariners will also receive a player with postseason experience throughout his career. Cano has appeared in a postseason game in 7 of his 9 seasons in the big leagues. He was a member of 2009 World Series champion New York Yankees. Cano also played for his home country of the Dominican Republic in last year’s World Baseball Classic. The Dominican Republic won the tournament and Cano was named the MVP of the tournament. He can be a mentor to the young players on this team that have never experienced such success in the big leagues.
This is a great day for the Mariners and their fans. It has been a painful to watch the M’s fade into obscurity over the last 12 seasons without a trip to the playoffs. Past general managers have traded away top prospects, who have become great big league players (Adam Jones, Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera etc.) for pretty much nothing in return. Other general mangers have invested money into free agents (Chone Figgins, Jack Cust, Carlos Silva, Rich Aurilia, Scott Spiezio, Miguel Olivo and Eric Byrnes etc.) that have not turned out to be very good in the last 12 seasons. Finally the M’s made a move that has the potential to bring back relevancy and rejuvenation back to this franchise. Fans might think this may have been an overpay for Cano, but sometimes you got to overpay for a player to get a franchise back on track. Cano can be used as a recruiting tool to help free agents to come here. There are still some pieces to add to this puzzle in outfield and starting rotation, but the addition of Cano should help in that process and let players know that the M’s are focused on winning.
The Mariners have made a great addition of Cano. He will improve the offense and provide durability at second base. Cano will help the young M’s know what success is in the big leagues. The Mariners can use Cano to recruit players to join the squad. Look for the M’s to make another splash during the off-season with the help of Cano