MLBTR: Seattle Mariners Predicted To Sign Two Top-50 Free Agents
By Dan Hughes
As the Hot Stove only now begins to heat up, the speculation will begin. The Seattle Mariners are thought to be looking to add some pop to their lineup that was once again near the bottom of the American League.
You are going to hear the Mariners’ name thrown around in rumors involving any free agent bat who had at least five homers last year. But according to a recent post on MLB Trade Rumors by Tim Dierkes, he believes that the Mariners will land two of the Top-50 available free agents. Though it may not be the ones you are hoping for.
Dierkes predicts that the M’s will sign Michael Cuddyer and Billy Butler, though Dierkes even notes that he has:
"“….given up on trying to create a scenario where all 50 signings fit together, so you’ll see some redundant picks where multiple players are listed for a team that could only sign one of them. Additionally, many teams will fill needs via trades.”"
Which makes sense to me, because I don’t see a scenario in which the Mariners would get BOTH of those players to essentially split DH duties and occasionally play first or right.
I played along and filled out my predictions for the Top-50 free agents, predicting that Seattle would likely sign Alex Rios and Edinson Volquez.
Now, much has been written about the Mariners not signing a top free agent pitcher, but that they may look to add veteran depth. Volquez had a solid bounce back year and could be on track for some terrific years ahead.
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He fits the Mariners plan for a cheap, short-term veteran arm at a projected 2-3 year deal at $8-$10 million a year. That would free up Roenis Elias or Taijuan Walker to be available via trade for another impact bat.
As for Rios, he was on the Mariners’ radar at the trade deadline this past July. He had a couple of injuries that hurt his season, but overall, he had a decent campaign. He generally avoids the disabled list, plays average defense and generally hits for a decent average.
His slash line against lefties (.325/.353/.545) should be of interest to the Mariners. He’s also a .309 hitter over the last three years at Safeco Field.
A one-year deal is probably likely for Rios. A team that adds a second year or at least an option for a 2nd season will more than likely be the team to sign him.
You can try your hand at predicting where the free agents will land over at MLBTR. Let the games begin.