Apparently, there are those in the baseball world that believe the Seattle Mariners should chase Robinson Cano. Cano has made headlines in recent months after it was speculated that he might want a contract in the neighborhood of $300 million. According to reports, even the New York Yankees are unwilling to spend this kind of cash. Do you blame them?
Cano is obviously a great player, but that is the type of contract that could crush a franchise when Cano eventually declines.
Since there are few teams around the league that could even think about such a contract, this leaves the door open for a motivated franchise to sneak in and sign Cano. Just for the sake of discussion, I’ll bite on this speculation. Let us analyze the argument.
The general gist is that the Mariners have the financial flexibility (and the cash) to make a run at least two marquee free agents. Only Felix Hernandez is signed beyond 2014, which means that from a payroll standpoint the Mariners can essentially build an entire roster from scratch.
Therefore, the Mariners could be a quiet candidate to sign Cano and also ink someone like Jacoby Ellsbury, who just won a World Series title with the Boston Red Sox. Granted, the latest rumors suggest that the Mariners are not interested in Ellsbury, but that could just be a negotiating tactic.
Really? Is this is a serious suggestion?
First of all, this would be a paradigm shift of epic proportions for the Mariners. Yes, the Mariners are in a situation where they have a great deal of financial flexibility, and their young core is under club control. However, lest we forget, the team is NOT GOOD. In addition, the fact that the Mariners have put themselves in this situation does say something about the club’s philosophy on high-priced free agents.
Now, can the team shift their strategy given the reality that the young core of hitters has not developed into a particularly potent offense? Sure. There may be pressure on Jack Zduriencik to speed up the process by bringing in some proven quantities. However, this would still be a stretch.
Certainly this type of speculation is fun to ponder, particularly since the Mariners have not had a marquee bat for quite some time. However, there is this annoying little aspect of life called “reality.”
If the Mariners shock the world and sign Cano, it would be a striking decision by a franchise that has struggled for relevancy in recent seasons. There would obviously be mixed reactions to such a decision. Some would praise the bold move, while others would lament the out-of-control economics of baseball and suggest Seattle must really be desperate for a star.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, we must come back to that nagging state of reality. This deal is not going to happen. That said, if I turn out to be wrong I will be the first to admit it. However, I am not terribly worried about having to write an article where I confess my lack of faith in Seattle’s willingness to make aggressive moves.
Robinson Cano will eventually play in Safeco Field again. He just won’t be wearing a Seattle Mariners uniform.