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Next Free Agency Targets: Carlos Beltran and Mike Napoli

 

Mandatory Credit: H.Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

 

This Robinson Cano deal has got Seattle reeling.

The general feeling around here is that Cano was really expensive, but that’s fine, because at least we’re relevant again. Landing a top player will do that for a team. At this point, I think we can all agree that the office is at least mildly interested in winning some baseball games in the years to come. Although, it could just be that we’re all basking in the afterglow of a monster deal.

So what’s next for the Mariners? By no means are they done. As Bob Dutton pointed out, the Mariners still have $25MM in available payroll for 2014. That’s a lot of money (we could get another Cano!).

There’s still plenty of holes to fill in the Mariners lineup. It’s absolutely clear that the M’s will be looking for pieces to the puzzle. Free agency still offers some big names that would fit very well into Seattle.

 

Carlos Beltran

Most notably, Carlos Beltran, Nelson Cruz and Shin-Soo Choo are still out there and waiting for a deal.

Apparently the Mariners are still in on all three of those guys. Which is great news for Mariners fans. The addition of Cano makes Seattle a little bit more palatable for any free agents with an offer from Jack and Howard.

After Cano came to Seattle, the Yankees have a lot of money left to make another move, and rumors are that the Yankees are actively pursuing Choo with it. But how good would it feel if we could snake Choo away from the Yankees?

As far as free agents go, the one that makes the most sense to me would be an offer to Carlos Beltran. As it happens, Beltran also has a deal on the table, and speculation is that it is from the Mariners, a 3-year $48M deal. It’s possible that Beltran was holding out to see what else the Mariners would do before making a decision. If that’s the case then things might be happening very quickly over the next few days.

Beltran would be an ideal pickup for the Mariners, who are in desperate need of some help in the outfield, and in the batting order. As I referenced before, the Mariners are looking for someone who can drive in runs to beef up their roster. A guy like Beltran who consistently drives in 80+ RBIs would certainly fit the bill. The Mariners might be able to get him for a reasonable price (when you compare it to the spending spree they just had on Cano, anyways).

 

Mike Napoli

There was also a pleasant surprise from Twitter this morning, when Jon Morosi noted that:

You read that right, Mike Napoli is now implicated in Mariners conversations. This is a move that I didn’t really see coming. Up until now it seemed like Boston would have him locked up. However, as we now know, Cano is a key piece of the Mariners rebuilding scheme, and Napoli may in fact fall into the Mariners’ lap.

Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Presumably he would keep the beard and fit in nicely in the Northwest.

After Kendrys Morales declined the Mariners’ qualifying offer, there is an opening at first base or as DH for Napoli. The Mariners also hold a little bit of leverage over Morales if they are indeed able to land Napoli.

Napoli certainly fills the batting void in the lineup, and if the M’s are able to get both Morales and Napoli on the roster, things would be looking mighty fine for the Mariners.

 

All indications are that the Mariners aren’t done yet. They still have plenty of money to move around, and there are still plenty of names on the table. Free Agency offers some enticing chances at power bats, but there are also plenty of options available via trade. Which is highly likely to happen soon. The Mariners have plenty of young, talented prospects to deal away, and are now overloaded with second basemen. Stay tuned to Sodo Mojo for speculation on Mariners trades and continuing development on the Cano deal.

 

Topics: Carlos Beltran, Mike Napoli, Seattle Mariners

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  • Matthew Seto

    *sigh*

    Both signed somewhere else THE SAME DAY I wrote this.