Improving the team
The Seattle Mariners, haven’t given up on competing this coming season. They have improved their lineup with this move, created more stability on their roster while increasing their chances for success. Smith should be able to provide similar production in Seattle to what he accomplished with the Rays last season. He gives the M’s a solid leadoff option and everyday outfielder.
Smith brings an offensive production Zunino and Heredia failed to provide. It makes this a fairly shrewd move on GM Jerry Dipoto’s part. Time ran out on Zunino, and the M’s simply couldn’t continue to wait to see if he could harness his power potential any longer.
It will be fascinating in the next few months to see how Dipoto and company see this team moving forward. There’s a world of big decisions to make. Whether or not to re-sign Nelson Cruz, trade a marquee player or two, release an aging star. Of course, now they also need a catcher.
Mariners fans have witnessed every desperate attempt at signing big-name free agents both during and past their prime. Trades of proven players for unproven minor leaguers in an attempt to replenish the farm system. A constant shuffling of managers. Worst of all was the low-budget moves of the former ownership group and watching promising seasons go down in flames. Mariners fans have born witness to some abysmal play, and teams comprised of a who’s who of unknown players.
Can the Mariners brass find a way to assemble the right mix this season to get them back into postseason play? It looks and feels like the new ownership in Seattle isn’t satisfied with waiting for another five to ten seasons to rebuild the farm system. They are attempting to win now. This move is the first domino to fall, let us see where it lands.