Seattle Mariners News: Michael Saunders Coming Back in 2014


Sep 8, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners left fielder Michael Saunders (55) hits a single against the Tampa Bay Rays during the 2nd inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

According to reports, the Seattle Mariners have avoided arbitration and will bring back outfielder Michael Saunders. The 27-year-old signed a one-year deal worth $2.3 million plus incentives.

Phew. That was a close one. I sure hate it when my favorite team is unable to re-sign players that hit .236 last season.

Forgive my lack of enthusiasm but is this all that $2.3 million can buy in Major League Baseball? Apparently so.

Saunders’ most productive season was 2012, when he hit an underwhelming .247 with 19 home runs and 57 RBI. Decent numbers, but not exactly All-Star caliber. But, on the Mariners he was one of the better hitters that year.

Obviously us common people can have a simplified viewpoint when it comes to sports. However, the numbers don’t paint a picture of amazing potential in the future. Are you telling me that a guy who is 27 and has never hit higher than .247 is suddenly going to figure out big league pitchers and maintain a .280 average all season?

I have my doubts. There seems to be a point in baseball where players either get it, or they don’t.

This is how business gets done in baseball, but would it be more cost-effective to bring up a guy like Stefen Romero from Tacoma and pay him half a million dollars? You don’t want the Mariners to be overly budget conscious (we’ve seen plenty of that) but this contract does not seem like it will necessarily pay off.

Saunders is partially there for his defense, but on a team that has struggled to hit, you wonder if the Mariners should have pursued other options. Granted, it wasn’t a great year for affordable, free-agent outfielders.

We’ll see how this works out. Maybe this will be a “breakout” season for Saunders. Then again, maybe not.

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