The Seattle Mariners need another bat, at least according to newly-acquired 2B/GM Robinson Cano. Granted, this is not new information. As things stand today, the Mariners could have a nice season offensively, but they could also be at the bottom of the league like they were last year.
Perhaps Cano’s presence has the desired effect of elevating everyone’s game. Then again, perhaps opposing teams will just pitch around Cano and feast on the weakness displayed by the rest of the lineup.
Specifically, Cano had this to say in a recent interview:
“I’m not going to lie. We need an extra bat, especially a right-handed bat,” Cano told CBSSports.com. “We have many left-handed hitters. We need at least one more righty. You don’t want to face a lefty pitcher with a lineup of seven left-handed hitters.”
The tough reality is that Cano’s comments may have an impact on multiple levels. Is this the first of many “suggestions” that Cano will make over the next ten years? Will it inspire management to be more aggressive or will it cause Jack Zduriencik to stubbornly refuse to let a player tell the GM how to do his job?
There is the possibility that these kinds of comments may actually make it harder for the Mariners to sign a player like Kendrys Morales. Negotiations are all about leverage. Both parties are going to do their best to play “hard-to-get.” The Morales camp could use Cano’s comments as a way to keep the asking price at a level that is undesirable to the Mariners.
Again, you can’t blame Cano for his comments. He was asked a question and he gave an honest answer. In addition, he is probably right. This lineup could use another bat. Zduriencik had this to say in recent comments:
Yes, Mr. Zduriencik, it would be great if all the Mariners in the lineup had a nice year. Unfortunately, we have been saying that for several seasons now and the production does not seem to be trending upward. Cano obviously does not have an overwhelming amount of faith in his supporting cast. Can you blame him?
Adding Morales could boost the swagger of the offense, but it could also create logjams and an unbalanced lineup. The Mariners already have four guys (Justin Smoak, Hart, Logan Morrison and Jesus Montero) that could be splitting time at first base or designated hitter. Do the Mariners really want to add a fifth guy to that group?
Plus, the Mariners already have a logjam at shortshop (Nick Franklin and Brad Miller) that will need to be addressed at some point. As the season gets closer, the team needs to narrow their focus, not add more options. If the Mariners were to add a bat, an outfielder would arguably be a better choice.
Morales and Ervin Santana (also desired by Cano) remain unsigned, and until they ink contracts, they will both be mentioned in the same breath with the Mariners. Perhaps between now and opening day, Cano…err…Zduriencik can get them signed.