So what’s stopping the Mariners from pulling the trigger?
I can still remember the jubilation I felt when I was walking through the snow to class and Twitter shifted from Jay-Z blowing the trade negotiations to Robinson Cano becoming a Mariner. After 15 minutes of sheer excitement, my next thought was: so what’s going to come next? That couldn’t be all the M’s do this offseason.
Yes, we signed a potential Comeback Player of the Year in Corey Hart and proven closer Fernando Rodney. Yes we traded for Logan Morrison and have lots of young pitching ready to play in the bigs. But Hisashi Iwakuma is hurt, Walker is on the shelf, and it’s nothing short of foolhardy to expect Hart to be THE MAN to protect Cano in the lineup.
Morales would provide that protection, which could push Hart to 5th in the lineup and make it look deeper and even more imposing. It’s easy to see Morales going .280 with 20 home runs and 90 RBIs hitting behind Cano. Those are very mild projections too.
Santana would provide two things: rotation depth and innings. Pitching wins championships, and you can never have enough of it. With two of the five expected rotation guys on the shelf, the M’s can’t sit and hope Blake Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez and James Paxton can all be mainstay answers. Moreover, some of those rookie guys aren’t necessarily going to be able to pitch 200 innings this season. That’s why Santana would be so valuable.
And with a three-year contract, he would be gone and moved on when guys like Walker and Paxton can really hold their own and be comfortable pitching every five days in the Show.