Seattle Mariners in on Victor Martinez and Hanley Ramirez
The hot stove is burning already, and just as last season, the Seattle Mariners seem to be tied to most free agents, especially the ones of the hitting variety.
According to Ken Rosenthal:
First and foremost, it’s interesting the Mariners are showing interest in Hanley Ramirez. Some of that may be stemming from the fact that Hanley Ramirez recently left open the possibility of making a position change with his new team. Seeing as his defense is sub-par at short, having that sort of wiggle room will certainly entice more suitors.
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It would be natural for him to transition to third base, but with Kyle Seager manning the hot corner with a Gold Glove, Ramirez would seem better suited to play first base and DH as well. Some also think he could transition to a corner outfield spot as well.
If the Mariners could convince him to play right field, first base, and DH, Ramirez could be a major offensive asset for a team starved for right-handed power. And even though Hanley Ramirez isn’t a pure power hitter, his gap-power bat would sit nicely between Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager in the Mariners’ lineup.
Even if the Mariners could sign Ramirez, though, his price tag would be high and his health is a serious concern as he approaches 31 years old. He’s played in only 214 of a possible 324 games (66 percent) the last two seasons. If the Mariners dropped a $100 million contract on someone who ends up playing less than 100 healthy games per season, it would be disastrous.
The same goes for Victor Martinez: his bat would be deadly between the Mariners’ lefty hitters, but his price tag would be high considering his age and his defensive value.
And let’s not forget, both of these players have qualifying offers tied to them, meaning the Mariners would forfeit their 21st pick in the 2015 draft.
Either one of these guys would be a welcomed sight in the Mariners lineup. It’s always a matter of how expensive they’ll be. Or rather, whether or not they’ll be able to provide the value on the field for the money they get paid.