Seattle Mariners: Winter Meetings Preview


Today is the day the annual MLB Winter Meetings begin, and so far there hasn’t been any real news except for some rumors regarding free agency. The Seattle Mariners are coming in with every position pretty much filled except for right field. When they traded away Michael Saunders last week, they opened a void in the outfield. This means the Mariners now have an opportunity to a) Sign another big free agent bat like Nelson Cruz or b) Trade for an equally large bat to stick in right field. Here are a few potential candidates:

Aug 26, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays left field Melky Cabrera (53) hits a single against Boston Red Sox in the first inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

Melky Cabrera
Cabrera is coming off a year in which he hit .301 with an .809 OPS for the Toronto Blue Jays. He showed that he is a balanced switch hitter who is still in his prime (He’s only 30) and can hit for power and average. Another great thing about him is that while he was coming up in the Yankees organization, he became close friends With Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano.

The cons of the M’s signing him would be that they have to sign him to a pretty substantial deal if they want him to play in Seattle, and he has been suspended for PED use in the past. Although recently, Jack Zduriencik said “a switch hitter would be tremendous” when talking about getting a new right fielder. Could this be a hint they are targeting Cabrera? Only time will tell.

October 4, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Matt Kemp (27) hits a solo home run in the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in game two of the 2014 NLDS playoff baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Kemp
Kemp started off 2014 with a slump for the first half, but in the second half he picked up his game by belting 17 homers and hitting .309. He has won teo gold gloves and two silver sluggers. Kemp has shown that he can be an all-star when healthy. the only problem there is the “when.” He has had some ankle and shoulder problems over the past few years. He also has a mega-contract he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

His contract still has $107 million left on it, but he would be another star for the M’s roster. Kemp is one of the guys they would have to trade good prospects to get, and if you have to give up Taijaun Walker to get him… Well, you gotta do what you gotta do if you want to get a star. In my opinion, Kemp is the best option if Melky Cabrera is already signed and the M’s are willing to give up Walker.

Sep 21, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) catches a pop-up by Baltimore Orioles left fielder Alejandro De Aza (not shown) in the third inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Upton/Yoenis Cespedes
These two are big sluggers who hit dingers and strike out. If I was Jack Z, these guys would be my plans C and D if Cabrera and Kemp didn’t work out. They are both proven sluggers, as Cespedes has won the HR derby twice in a row and Upton has averaged 28 homers a year. These accomplishments are great, but neither of them hit for average and over the past year, they combined to strike out 299 times. The numbers could improve with hitters around them in the lineup, but they are still not worth Walker, James Paxton, or Roenis Elias.

The M’s still have some big decisions to make this offseason, and hopefully one of these guys is the answer!

My Prediction: Mariners sign Melky Cabrera to a four year, $60 million deal.