Seattle Mariners: Off-season maneuvers needed to fine-tune roster

Jerry Dipoto Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
Jerry Dipoto Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
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Seattle Mariners
Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies, Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

Offensive pop

Ty Gonzalez from our cousins at indicated that there could be some uncertainty at first base, second base and center field for next year. The reason for that uncertainty is due to the appealing trade value of Ryon Healy as well as whether or not they want to keep Cano at second base.

If Healy is traded, Cano would most likely move to first base and Dee Gordon would move from center field to second base. That would leave an opening in the outfield. Meaning the possibility of the pursuit of an outfielder.

Among center field candidates, there is Charlie Blackmon from the Colorado Rockies, who followed up his career-best year of 2017 with another All-Star worthy campaign this past season. The issues to be addressed are age and asking price. Additionally, former Gold Glover winner A.J. Pollack will be available. He isn’t the same type of hitter as Blackmon, but a very good defensive player with a .994 fielding percentage in seven major league seasons.

Another question is whether or not 37-year-old Nelson Cruz is retained in his role as designated hitter and part-time outfielder. The availability of viable DH candidates is limited to Evan Gattis and Pedro Alvarez, both 32 years of age. Gattis might be the better choice because he has experience as a catcher.

The catcher position is definitely in need of an offensive upgrade. Mike Zunino is fine defensively, but lacking in batting skill. Wilson Ramos, coming off of a season in which he hit .306 with 15 homers, and 70 RBI, is considered the top free agent catcher and would likely come with a high price tag. A more feasible option would be Yasmani Grandal. Grandal’s defensive woes have been well-publicized. But his long-ball ability hopefully makes up for that liability.