Big Dumper makes pitch for Shohei Ohtani

Cal Raleigh joined Scott Crews and the Foul Territory gang to discuss losing a glue-guy, the 54%, and his would-be pitch to the number one free agent.

Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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A once quiet leader, Mariner backstop Cal Raleigh is now a hot ticket in the media circuit. However, that happens when you comment publicly about ownership not adding payroll and, in turn, talent to the roster in the disappointing 2023 season. He joined the "Foul Territory" podcast yesterday to dive into losing Eugenio Suarez's impact in the clubhouse, the 54% comments, and his pitch to Shohei Ohtani.

While the pitch to a generational talent is good, the tangible takeaway is Raleigh's mention of Suarez being a clubhouse leader who connected everyone. Those guys are challenging to replace. In 2022, that player was Carlos Santana. Last season, Suarez stepped into the role. Who will fill the gap in 2024?

Raleigh may become more vocal, J.P. Crawford continues to be the team's emotional leader, and Julio takes another step. While that might be a solid blueprint, they must add a veteran offensive player who can fill the Suarez role. Could it be a short-term fix like Justin Turner or J.D. Martinez? Someone who's been there, done that, and got the t-shirt. Those two seasoned veterans would help Dipoto check off the add contact on the offseason to-do list.

Another comment to hang your hat on is Raleigh's mention of Suarez going to a better park (offensively). It's well-documented that T-Mobile is one of the worst parks for hitters; it's where flyballs go to die in the gaps. However, players rarely use their platform to address it or take a few shots at the ballpark dimensions. That's why the Mariners frequently use the draft, develop, trade model because free-agent position players know the limitations of playing at T-Mobile Park, Raleigh just went on a limb and vocalized it.

Seeing our backstop get on a podium and dive into what fans really want to hear is refreshing. Here's hoping Dipoto is listening in; the franchise's 2024 success might depend on it.