Should the Mariners Upgrade At Shortstop
One of the weaker positions the Mainers had this year was shortstop. There was expectation for Brad Miller to follow up his rookie performance with at least a comparable sophomore year.
That didn’t happen and in 47 more games than he played in 2013 Brad Miller couldn’t produce at the same rate.
He had a stronger September but still struck out at a high rate while splitting time with Chris Taylor. The issue with that statement is still the uncertainty.
Does a strong September carry over? Does it mean the rest of the year was just a fluke?
I feel like this was the same question being asked about Justin Smoak going into nearly every offseason.
Taylor was able to produce the same WAR despite playing less than half the amount of games that Miller did. Does this mean Taylor is the future?
I think not. He had solid numbers but still did not hit a single homerun and struck out at a high rate. Also, an unsustainably high BABIP kept his average respectable.
I think the Mariners should explore other options, however; I think they can be patience in their pursuit.
A quick fix could sometimes be the solution but I don’t think a quick fix would put the Mariners over the top.
There are a few of those available in free agency which could be solid and Hanley Ramirez is the lone star at the position in free agency.
Going for Ramirez should be out of the question considering they already have two mega contracts and shouldn’t take a giant risk on someone who has been so up and down throughout his career.
Another option is through trade. The Cubs are plenty at the position with Starlin Castro, Javier Baez, and Addison Russell.
None have been made available but I think eventually they will start stepping on each other’s toes. It’s pretty rare to be so plentiful at the position which is why I think of them right away.
The Mariners have pitching which could be offered but to get any of those players the return would have to be large for the Cubs.
Shortstop was a problem but maybe giving up on either Taylor or Miller is not the right move right now. Given the Mariners should be looking to contend for the playoffs again this year they need to fill in the holes.
Of course an upgrade is gladly accepted but I think the Mariners can will be able to hold themselves over for now.
Maybe Miller will find his rookie form and maybe Taylor finds a way to keep up his production.
Maybe they don’t but that’s when we count on the front office to make the right move.