Should the Mariners Be Looking At Allen Craig Of The Red Sox?

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With all the news coming out about the Boston Red Sox signing both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval (though the Sandoval deal hasn’t been finalized), their roster is getting jam packed, especially considering Ramirez would likely play in left field.

Having an overload of MLB caliber outfielders, the Red Sox are going to have to start dealing them for other pieces. Chace this morning proposed the Yoenis Cespedes/Hisashi Iwakuma swap. This seems like the most desirable outfielder the Sox have in the Mariners’ opinion.

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But what about former St. Louis Cardinal Allen Craig?

Craig turns 31 in July and is signed for the next three years for $25.5 million with a $13 million team option (with a $1 million buyout).

His career line is .282/.337/.445 and he can play the corner outfield, first base, and DH. Yes, he is injury prone– with knee/foot problems and surgeries– but most of his injuries came when playing in the outfield. The Mariners could use his right-handed bat in the middle of the lineup, as he has a career .349/.415/.556 line with runners in scoring position.

Allen Craig’s positional versatility could be majorly valuable for the Mariners. With their recent extension for third baseman Kyle Seager, the Mariners need that big right-handed bopper– or two– to put in the lineup.

Perhaps the Mariners could work out a deal where they get BOTH Allen Craig and Yoenis Cespedes from the Red Sox, further opening up the Fenway outfield for new addition Hanley Ramirez. With such a trade, the Mariners would get two proven right-handed power bats that could play in the outfield and also DH.

What sort of package would such a trade require, though?

I think a trade that included Hisashi Iwakuma, Taijuan Walker, and a third prospect would get such a deal done. By making that move, the Mariners would invariably need to sign a mid-rotation pitcher, and there are enough of those on the market at or around $10 million a season.

If the Mariners want to pull the trigger on Nelson Cruz, though, they’d only need to trade for Allen Craig on his own. For him alone, I think the Mariners would have to send Taijuan Walker and another mid-level prospect. This would still give the Mariners two right-handed bats for the lineup while keep their second ace in Iwakuma.

With a Nelson Cruz signing and an Allen Craig trade, the Mariners lineup would look like:

Austin Jackson 8

Dustin Ackley 7

Robinson Cano 4

Nelson Cruz 9/DH

Kyle Seager 5 (with that new contract extension!)

Allen Craig DH/9

Logan Morrison 3

Mike Zunino 2

Brad Miller 6

Such a lineup would be both balanced a potent, as guys like Logan Morrison, Brad Miller and Mike Zunino are still young and able to improve significantly offensively.

What do you think about trading for Allen Craig? Would he be a feasible and valuable addition to the 2015 Mariners team?

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