Mariners GM For A Day: Part 3- Fix The Revolving Door

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Now for Step 3: Fix the Revolving Door

What do the names Mickey Brantley, Greg Briley, Tracy Jones, Kevin Mitchell, Mike Felder, Eric Anthony, Darren Bragg, Lee Tinsley, Glenallen Hill, John Mabry, Mark McLemore, Al Martin, Randy Winn, Raul Ibanez, Endy Chavez, Milton Bradley, Mike Carp and Mike Morse have in common?

These 18 players represent the starting left fielder on Opening Day for the Mariners in each of the last 26 seasons (since 1988). This does not count the other players that have started games in left for the M’s, this is simply Opening Day starters.

Over the years, the Mariners have had stability in various positions: Center field- Griffey Jr., Mike Cameron; Right field- Jay Buhner, Ichiro Suzuki; 1B- Alvin Davis, Tino Martinez, John Olerud; Catcher- Dave Valle, Dan Wilson.

But left field has been a revolving door for almost three decades. Time to put a stop to that.

But how?

Bring in a free agent? The Mariners are going to be in the hunt for Shin Soo-Choo (RF) or Jacoby Ellsbury (CF). With so many other holes to fill, it’s unlikely we could get a free agent LF as well.

So how about we take a current player and make a permanent transition to left? Let’s go with Dustin Ackley.

Sep 18, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder Dustin Ackley (13) hits a three run home run in the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 18, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder Dustin Ackley (13) hits a three run home run in the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Ackley had a great year in 2013. Let me rephrase that. Dustin Ackley had a great 2nd-half to 2013.

Before the All-Star break, Ackley’s slash line of .205/.267/.255 was not indicative of his nickname “Offensive AttAckley”. But after the break and after “The Beard”, Ackley’s slash line of .304/.374/.435 silenced many critics.

He started eight games in left in 2013 playing 11 games total. He committed no errors (only one total for the year in all positions combined) in 21 chances and turned one double play. So we know he can also be a Defensive AttAckley.

With Brad Miller and Ryan Franklin secure up the middle of the infield for the foreseeable future, I would hate to have Ackley without a home, or worse yet traded. So let’s put him in left for the next 10 years and give something the Mariners have never had…..a consistent starting left fielder.

Next time, in Part Four: Yes We (Mc) Cann!

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  • drwheelock

    I really don’t want Ackley in the OF, but would like him back at 2B … yes even over Franklin! I would like to package Franklin with top pitching prospects for Stanton (after signing Ellsbury)

    • CharlieSpencer-Davis

      I think that would be a great move too. But don’t you think Franklin’s marketability has dipped considerably after he imploded over the last few months of the season?

  • drwheelock

    But his power potential is still there and has MLB experience now. He’d be just 1 piece of the package for Stanton. I know it’s going to take a major package, but throwing him in there would be an enticing piece for the Marlins. Also, the more I think about it I’m favoring trading away Smoak too now. I’ve been against it all along, but have been trying to figure out platoon situations with him only getting ABs against RHPs.

    I think I’m willing to throw Smoak in the deal for Stanton too, “if” we could land Butler (being shopped by KC now), and Seattle showed strong interest this past year. So, by re-signing Morales and adding Butler would solve the 1B/DH issue, and solve the LHPing issue with Smoak!

    I really think Z has some great potential trades with the kind of money available for him this offseason…

    BRAUN ($10m 2014 Salary, but Brewers will have to send backloaded money)

    GALLARDO (Brewers are looking to move)

    PRICE (I don’t think we could do a Price AND a Stanton trade…it’s either one of the other)


    FA’s to Sign:
    1. Restructure Gutz contract to $2.5M
    2. Ellsbury (Whatever we have to pay)
    3. Re-Sign Morales to a 3yr $10M deal
    4. Attempt to pickup Garza or Tanaka (along with a Gallardo trade)
    5. Sign Granderson for RF if we can’t land Stanton!!!

    So here is my roster reconstruction for this offseason

    We have $32.5m committed at this moment for 2014 contracts.

    2014 Rotation
    Price OR Garza ($12-15M)

    Gallardo Trade ($11m)

    5th spot open for top prospect or best available from AAA

    ($23-26m added to rotation)

    2014 Offense
    CF Ellsbury ($18-20m)

    RF Stanton OR (Granderson $10m/Gutz $2.5m Platoon split)

    1B/DH Butler ($8m)

    LF Braun ($10m)

    DH/1B Morales ($10m)

    3B Seager
    2B Ackley
    SS Miller
    C Zunino/Montero

    ($50.5-$60.5M added to offense)

    Which puts our 2014 payroll between $95.5m-$119m

    $95.5m would be if we could somehow trade for Stanton and STILL renegotiate Gutz to $2.5m as our 4th OFer and throwing at DH periodically.

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