Seattle Mariners, A History of 2nd Baseman: Almost second to none.

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Robinson Cano #22 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates after scoring on a RBI single by Ryon Healy in the fourth inning at Angel Stadium on September 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Robinson Cano #22 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates after scoring on a RBI single by Ryon Healy in the fourth inning at Angel Stadium on September 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

We can say that 2nd base has had a lot of good players man the position over the years for the Mariners. Harold Reynolds, now known as an analyst at MLB Network, played the position well from 1986 thru 1992. He made his major league debut in 1983 and led the American League in stolen bases in 1987 with 60. He was a solid defensive second baseman as well.

In 1993 a few players like utility player Rich Amaral played second base, however, Bret Boone was recalled and played in 76 games with a batting average of .251 with 12 home runs and 38 rbi’s. The next off-season he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for catcher Dan Wilson. He returned to the Seattle as a free agent in 2001 when the Mariners had the 116 victories.

Also, 2001 was Boone’s best year where he had 37 home runs, 141 rbi’s and a .331 batting average. Whether he has been the Mariner’s best second baseman 2001 certainly without question the best season by a Mariner second baseman. He was the Mariners regular second baseman from 2002 thru 2004. In 2005 he played 74 games for the club before going to the Minnesota Twins to finish out the season. His last year in the major leagues. In 2002 and 2003 he drove in over 100 rbi’s as well. He was a solid second baseman defensively as well.

In 1994 Rich Amaral and Luis Sojo each played some second base along with a couple of other guys who most of us wouldn’t remember.

The next second baseman who came to the Mariners and possibly the most popular in the history of the club,  Joey Cora. He played four years for the Mariners from 1995 thru 1998. We wouldn’t ever forget the playoff game against the Yankees in 1995 when he scored ahead of Ken Griffey Jr. on Edgar Martinez double to advance the Mariners to the American League Championship against the Cleveland Indians.

David Bell was next in line as the Mariners 2nd baseman in 1999. He played for Seattle from 1998 thru 2001 however 1999 was the one year he was the regular 2nd baseman. He went on to play 3rd base after that season. He had a solid year having 21 home runs, 78 rbi’s and .268 batting average in 1999.

The new century beginning in 2000 Mark McLemore was the primary second baseman though he played multiple positions as a super utility player with the Mariners over four seasons. He played for the Mariners from 2000 thru 2003 before ending his 19 years in the major leagues with Oakland in 2004.

McLemore started 129 games for the Mariners at second base in 2000. He had a batting average of .245 with an on-base percentage of.353 along with 30 stolen bases. He played solid defense for the Mariners as well.

The next guy in line at second base was Jose Lopez. He made his major league debut in 2004 where he played in 57 games at second and 54 games in 2005. He became the Mariners regular second baseman in 2006. He made the all-star team that year. He played second for the Mariners through 2009.

Jose Lopez best year for power numbers was 2009 when he had 25 home runs and 96 rbi’s with a .272 batting average. Also, it was his only year in the major leagues where he hit over twenty home runs.

The next year 2010 the Mariners signed probably the least favorite Mariner of all-time in Chone Figgins. He was with the Mariners for three years however 2010 was the only year he played the whole season at second base. Also, it was his best season with the Mariners as well. For the Mariners, it was a bad year altogether because they had a record of 61-101. Also, manager Don Wakamatsu was fired. I have to say Wakamatsu and Figgins didn’t get along either.

Like I said it was Figgins best year in the Mariners uniform far as stats go. He batted .259 though he did have a .340 on-base percentage along with stealing 42 bases. The next two years he batted .188 and .181. The fans were glad when the Mariners released him after 2012.

In 2011 the Mariners decided to bring up 2009 first-round pick second overall Dustin Ackley. The Mariners and the fans were hoping he would be the next best second baseman for them. His rookie season of 2011 was his best year in a Mariner uniform. He batted a respectable .273 with six home runs and 36 rbi’s at the top of the Mariners batting order. The next four years though we’re not so kind as he hit not as well.

In 2015 after hitting.215 in 85 games the Mariners decided it was enough of having Ackley and he was traded to the New York Yankees where he played in the utility role for the remaining of that year plus 2016. Last two years he played for the Los Angeles Angels triple-A team in Salt Lake City.

This month he was signed to a minor league contract by the Mariners. He will be invited to major league camp however the odds of him being on the team is remote. Everyone in the Mariner organization can say that Dustin Ackley was rushed too early to the major leagues.

Dustin Ackley didn’t play all his time at second base on December 13, 2013, general manager Jack Z. decided to make a big splash in free agency by signing all-star Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240 million contracts, he became the Mariners second baseman. At that point, Ackley moved to the outfield where he had played some in college.

Three of the five years in Seattle Cano made the all-star team and was MVP of the all-star game twice in 2014 and 16. The only two years he didn’t make the all-star team was 2015 and 18. In 2018 he played only half of the season first because he was hurt then a couple days later he was suspended for not following the drug policy. His best season for the Mariners was 2016 when he hit .298 with 39 home runs and 103 rbi’s. He had solid numbers through every year with the Mariners.

On December 1, 2018, general manager Jerry Dipoto decided to make a blockbuster trade sending Cano along with closer Edwin Diaz to the New York Mets for a couple of veteran players and some top prospects.

General manager Jerry Dipoto decided to re-image the Mariners though many would call it a rebuild. The Mariners made several trades getting rid of players off the 25-man roster including Cano and Diaz.

The Mariners still have veteran second baseman Dee Gordon who played the position when Cano was suspended. There was thought that Gordon could be playing several positions with Cano spending some time at first base, third and second base but decided to rely on Gordon to be the regular second baseman. When the Mariners acquired Gordon after the 2017 season they tried him at centerfield before Cano was injured and suspended. They decided though the position wasn’t really the best for Gordon.

So now Dee Gordon is the Mariners regular second baseman. Last year he started out playing well but after injuring his toe he struggled at the plate and the Mariners moved him to the bottom of the batting order after he started the season as the lead-off hitter. Mitch Haniger the right fielder who is now the face of the franchise was put in the leadoff spot. Whether he will be in that spot at the beginning of the season is anyone’s guess. Haniger is versatile where he can hit anywhere in the lineup. Gordon could be back at the top of the order if he is healthy.

Right now not really sure how long Dee Gordon will be the Mariners second baseman. Jerry Dipoto could trade him before the trading deadline this year depending on how well he is playing.

Seattle acquired a minor league second baseman Shed Long from the New York Yankees. The Yankees acquired him in the trade with the Cincinnati Reds for starting pitcher Sonny Gray. The Mariners sent to the Yankees outfielder Josh Stowers who they drafted in the second round last year.

Long is listed as the Mariners #8 prospect. He is 23 years old; he will play either at double-A Arkansas or triple-A Tacoma. Last year in double-A he hit .261 with 12 home runs and 56 rbi’s. Also, he had 19 stolen bases. So he could have some power in the major leagues well as stealing bases. Like most prospects at this point that is all, he is, however, the Mariners may bring him up to play in a year or two if he is ready to go.

Read. Seattle Mariners: A History of Recent First Baseman in Seattle. light

So you see, Seattle had a pretty good legacy at 2nd base and we will have to see whether it continues or not.