The Mariners like to take risks, though spending $240 million on a ten year contract with a no trade clause to Robinson Cano is by far the biggest financial risk they have taken. Usually Seattle takes lite risks, like bringing in over the hill veteran pitchers or bringing in D-list players who can’t hit, never could, but fill a roster spot and a place on the bench.
Two wounded ducks are Corey Hart and Logan Morrison. Hart as had microfracture surgeries on both knees and missed all of 2013 rehabbing. But he was, and still could be, a power hitter. He can DH or play first base. It is a one year contract with many incentives making the risk worthwhile. Morrison hit 23 homers in 2011, but a tendon problem in a knee limited him to part time duty the past two years. He can play the outfield and first base. Seattle needs outfielders, but more than that they need a right handed bat besides Hart and Morrison is a lefty. The Mariners gave up a young arm in Carter Capps, who had a plus five ERA in 2013, but the Mariners have a lot of young arms waiting to take his place.
So the Mariners have some knee problems, but the potential upside is good. Hart is 31 with a lot to prove and Morrison is only 26 and a new environment may be good for him.
The winter meetings are over, but I doubt the Mariners are. Nelson Cruz, a big right handed power bat would be a perfect number four hitter. He is 33 and can hit 25-30 homers. Maybe Robinson Cano can call Nelson and say, “Seattle has money for you, why not come up to the Pacific Northwest. Do you like salmon?” Cruz could DH, Hart play first, and Morrison, if healthy, the outfield.
Seattle still needs a lefty in the bullpen, a reliable closer, a starting pitcher, another outfielder, and a cheerleading squad called the Seamaidens. The pieces are falling into place and the improved lineup is a start, though having Seamaidens would surely increase attendance more than Cano, Hart, et al. I told the Mariner front office of my idea and volunteered to fluff the pompoms. For some reason I was escorted from the premises. I guess they didn’t want to take the risk.