Should The Mariners Have Signed Another Big Bat This Off-Season?
By all accounts, the Mariners had a very successful off-season bringing in the likes of Jean Segura, Jarrod Dyson, and Danny Valencia while also reshaping the backend of their rotation with Drew Smyly and Yovani Gallardo. But, should GM Jerry Dipoto have tried harder to bring one of the handful of free agent power bats to Seattle?
In 2016, the Mariners ranked 3rd in the league when it came to home runs hit by the entire team with 223 sitting 2 dingers behind the St. Louis Cardinals and 30 behind the Baltimore Orioles.
Suffice it to say, the M’s were already a great power-hitting team, but could they have done more this off-season to bring in more strength at the plate considering there were free agents such as Edwin Encarnacion, Mark Trumbo, Jose Bautista, Yoenis Cespedes, and Carlos Beltran to name some of the more prominent sluggers that were on the market?
The Mariners were looking for a first baseman before they made a swap for Valencia to be a platoon man at first with Dan Vogelbach in November. They were also looking to upgrade in the outfield corner spots before the deals for Dyson and Mitch Haniger.
Each of those positions could have been filled by one of the aforementioned men, but instead, Dipoto opted to go with cheaper, more easily tradeable options.
Dipoto’s moves show that he is in an affordable “win now” mode, so longer term deals like Trumbo and Encarnacion’s 3-year contracts and Cespedes’s 4-year deal mustn’t have been very appealing, but cost definitely played a factor as well.
Of the five players, Trumbo’s was the “cheapest” annual deal of them all as he’ll be cashing in 12.5 million dollars a year. Beltran and Bautista will be making a couple million more than the former Mariners ball-basher, but Encarnacion and Cespedes will be making 20 and 27 million dollars a year respectively.
Furthermore, adding one of these men would mean that one or a few of the current Mariners wouldn’t have been on the roster as they would’ve had to cut corners to make room for one of the big hitters salaries.
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So did the Mariners make the right decision passing up on some of the games best power hitters? Only time will tell.
For the Indians, signing Encarnacion could be the piece that makes them World Series champions.
Carlos Beltran’s powerful presence on the Houston Astros could have them contending for the AL West crown with the Mariners and Los Angeles Angels
As for the rest, Cespedes surely keeps the Mets in playoff contention, Trumbo does the same for the Orioles and Bautista remaining with the Toronto Blue Jays make them a team to be taken seriously come September/October
Where does this leave the Mariners? Well, I can assure you that Dipoto is not second guessing his decision to form his team around power, speed, and agility.
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Mariners fans should follow suit in believing that the team the Dipoto formed will be able to contend against the organizations that did sign the home run hitters as well as the rest of the league.