Robinson Cano made minor headlines recently when he stated that the Seattle Mariners need another bat. This is not a revelation by any means considering the lack of offensive production in recent years. The Mariners have a few decent pieces around Cano, but the lineup would hardly be described as formidable.
Is additional help coming? Doubtful.
The Mariners may be hesitant to bring in a player like Kendrys Morales because it will create a logjam at first base and designated hitter. It may also be a financial issue, particularly if the Mariners are truly out of money.
There is the possibility that the Mariners are following a specific strategy, and have intended to follow this particular plan all along. Perhaps they made some promises to Cano, but it would not be shocking if the opening day lineup consisted of Cano, youngsters and a couple of reclamation projects.
Truthfully, the Mariners may not need a great deal of improvement to have a relevant offense. If Cano can hit close to .300, that may make a huge difference to a team that has lacked a legitimate offensive threat for quite some time. The presence of Cano may allow young hitters like Dustin Ackley, Kyle Seager, Justin Smoak, Brad Miller and Abraham Almonte to reach more of their potential.
What would the offense look like if those players were able to hit 10-30 points higher? Frankly, a lot different.
For now, it seems logical to assume that the Mariners are going to roll the dice and hope that Cano can inspire this lineup to greater things. If the lineup can improve and the starting rotation can be bolstered by the return of Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker in the middle of April, the Mariners could move closer to relevancy.
It’s a start, but if the 2014 Mariners look like the squads that have struggled at the plate for several seasons, management may need to go shopping…for another bat.