Seattle Mariners Should Not Make More Moves
By Chace Davy
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days, you’re aware that the Mariners have recently signed Nelson Cruz to a four year, $57 million deal, pending a physical.
While Cruz is indeed a pretty awesome pickup for the M’s, there are still rumors and speculation running around that the Mariners need to do more in order to be competitive next season.
However, with the pickup of Cruz, the M’s are in a position now where they can keep most of the pieces they have now and still be a successful squad next season.
Now, I’ve heard a lot of opinions from a lot of people after this signing went down, but there are a couple names that everybody I’ve talked to has brought up, and they make absolutely no sense to me.
The biggest thing that I’ve heard (and strangely only started hearing after the Cruz news broke) is that the M’s actually need more power bats, and that they should trade Hisashi Iwakuma, or James Paxton, for it.
Two things. One, this completely contradicts all the previous specualtion that the M’s needed one power righty to complete the lineup between Cano and Seager.
Two, the whole reason that the M’s were even close to making a playoff run was due to our excellent pitching. Trading away one, or even both, of these players completely destroys the pitching rotation we have right now.
It has always been my thought that any team, in order to compete, needs at least three above average starting pitchers. As of right now, the M’s almost have that in Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, and James Paxton.
I say almost because Paxton could use a couple more starts under his belt before he can be called consistently above average. So there’s really two and a half men that I consider above average on the mound.
Granted, not everybody on the Mariners is absolutely crucial keep around. Brad Miller, Michael Saunders (as much as I hate to say it), and anybody currently on the bench could be used as trade bait for another power hitter.
Even Austin Jackson or James Jones, depending on who you talk to. If the Mariners were to shop around any of these players, they should look at a pitcher to compliment the aforementioned three.
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The problem with that is those players, individually, don’t fetch huge value for teams, unless they’re looking for a really specific type of player (Like Brad Miller, who is really good on defense, but bipolar at the plate).
Any trade of these players would contain either prospects, other starters, or multiple teams. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it is definitely avoidable.
If anything, the M’s have the money to go after more players in free agency, which is completely fine by me. $57 million is a very reasonable price for Cruz, and if we could convince a guy like James Shields to come to Seattle and be our third proven “above average” starter, the M’s would be in stellar position to make a run for the AL West, and all it would cost them is money.
As most of you probably know, a baseball team is a finely tuned machine. The way the Mariners’ machine is set up is to dominate the strike zone and not give up any runs.
Power has never been a key to the Mariners upper management, it’s all been about defense and pitching.
Now that the M’s have their sacred righty power bat to compliment Robinson Cano and home grown talent Kyle Seager–and not at the cost of any important pieces– they need to be careful in any trades they make, for fear of turning the team into something that it’s not built to do.