With Jose Bautista still available, we weigh up the pros and cons of the Seattle Mariners making a move for the six-time All Star.
When wondering if the Seattle Mariners should make a move for Jose Bautista, a lot of fans will understandably ask why? For a start, the organization has already spent the offseason acquiring a number of younger outfielders.
They would effectively be going against this approach, if they were to sign the 36-year old Bautista. And coincidental or not, he is coming off an injury-filled campaign where he played his fewest games in four seasons.
One final reason making a move for the six-time All-Star might not be the best idea, comes down to his rejecting the Toronto Blue Jays‘ qualifying offer. As a result, if the Mariners sign him, they would lose a first round draft pick.
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Certainly, when you consider all these aspects, it doesn’t seem to make much sense to move for Bautista. However, in the interest of objectivity, let’s look at why the Mariners’ should consider signing him.
The first reason comes down to the Dominican Republic native’s ego, which has undoubtedly been bruised by not getting the multi-year deal he was expecting. As a result, he’s had to resort to saying he would accept one year, as long as it exceeds the Blue Jays’ qualifying offer of $17.2 million.
In that respect, the Mariners could certainly afford to pay Bautista more than this. In the process, they would be getting a supremely motivated individual, who has always played with a chip on his shoulder anyway.
The second factor to consider is the former 20th round draft pick’s versatility. Yes, he prefers to be in the outfield, but he is more than capable of playing as a DH and at first base, as and when required.
There is also the strong possibility Smith will be traded, with Haniger specifically earmarked as being capable of taking over the right field role full time. Regardless, Smith leaving would theoretically increase the need for someone like Bautista, whose experience could be key both in the outfield and at first base.
Overall, there is no denying that signing the three-time Silver Slugger would be a risk for the Mariners. Apart from losing a first round pick, you’re gambling on an older player whose defensive skills have started to decline.
However, this is the same player who just two seasons ago hit 40 homers and 110 RBIs. And despite last season’s injury problems, Bautista looks after himself and is not your typical 36-year old baseball player.
Throw in the aforementioned fact Bautista will be motivated to restore his market value, and you have an extremely dangerous weapon, which you could use to your advantage. In reality, the Mariners will likely not make a move for him, but he is certainly an intriguing option.
Taking all of the different factors into account, what’s your opinion? Would you like to see the Mariners make a move for Bautista or not, and why? Share your thoughts in the comments section.