We continue to put a bow on the decade that was the 2010s and work our way around the diamond while naming the best Mariners of every position in the decade.
In the past 2 days, we have crowned the Mariners best catcher and first baseman of the decade. And while catcher was a slam dunk, we had quite a few candidates (granted not good ones) who were in contention for the spot.
But with those spots decided, it is time to move to second base. But before we crown our winner, let’s run down the rules we are working with real quick. Remember, it only takes one game in a Mariners uniform at the position to qualify.
However, only the stats accumulated by the said player in a Mariners uniform count for our purposes. So playing a lot of games in Seattle colors does work to your advantage (as you saw in the first base discussion).
We also take into account memorable moments and “fan favoritness”, so producing defining appearances and games can also tip the scales into your favor. With all that in mind, let’s go ahead and just crown the best Mariners’ second baseman of the decade.
Seattle Mariners All-Decade Team 2B: Robinson Cano
I mean, it doesn’t get a whole lot more obvious than this. Robinson Cano was arguably the best position player of the decade for Seattle and his competition at the position basically comes down to Dustin Ackley and Dee Gordon.
So you can see why this was easy. Cano signed a massive 10-year, $240 million contract in the winter of 2013 and proceeded to put up 5 consecutive, near All-Star level seasons before he was traded last winter.
In his time in Seattle, Cano slashed .296/.353/.472 with a 127 wRC+. In his 5 seasons, he also posted 107 home runs, 411 RBI, and 20.7 fWAR. He was a solid defender at second and was worth the $120 million Seattle paid him before being traded.
Cano’s legacy in Seattle is an interesting one. He was far and away the most expensive contract given to a free agent in franchise history and played a major role in a few of the team’s most recent playoff pushes.
However, he may be most remembered for his 80 game suspension in 2018, which played a role in the summer struggles of what ended up being an 89-win team. If Cano doesn’t get suspended, who knows how history could be different.
But overall, Cano is one of the best offensive players in franchise history and is arguably the best second baseman in franchise history, regardless of the decade. And when you consider his competition, this was one of the easier calls to make in our series.