Kendrys Morales

Robinson Cano wants the Mariners to bring in Kendrys Morales and Ervin Santana

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The Mariners’ signing of Robinson Cano to a ten-year, $240 million was supposed to be the kick-off to a wild off-season. When the news died down, the Mariners were reported to have shown interest in trading for Rays ace David Price, and signing free agents Matt Garza and/or Nelson Cruz. GM Jack Zduriencik only ended up signing Corey Hart and trading for Logan Morrison.

The team isn’t exactly bereft of talent, but they still have flaws. Cano, for example, thinks the team is too lopsided on left-handed hitters. He thinks Zduriencik should pick up a right-handed bat, or at least a switch hitter. Via Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:

“I’m not going to lie. We need an extra bat, especially a right-handed bat,” Cano told CBSSports.com. “We have many left-handed hitters. We need at least one more righty. You don’t want to face a lefty pitcher with a lineup of seven left-handed hitters.”

Cano has his eye on Kendrys Morales, who is still a free agent despite posting a .785 OPS with 23 home runs last season.

“He’s a switch hitter who’s got power,” Cano noted. Not only that, but Morales possesses power proven to work at Safeco Field, as he posted 23 homers and 80 RBI in his inaugural season in Seattle.

Morales is still a free agent because he is tied to draft pick compensation, and because he offers little else aside from being a switch hitter with power. He plays first base, but not very well, and is unable to play anywhere else on the diamond. As a result, his best fit is as a DH in the American League, effectively cutting out half of his potential market.

The Mariners, though, would not have to give up a draft pick to sign Morales and they could push Morrison out of the DH spot if they so desired, contingent on Hart’s ability to play the outfield.

Cano, and an unnamed Mariner veteran, would also like to see free agent starter Ervin Santana suit up in a Mariners uniform:

“He’s great,” Cano said. “The guy’s always pitching; he never gets hurt.”

Cano summed up his wish list, saying, “If it was up to me, we’d have Santana, (Nelson) Cruz and Ubaldo (Jimenez), too.”

James McCann is in The Best Shape of His Life

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.

We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.

James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:

Spring training is less than a month away, folks!

Bo Jackson is not gonna change kids’ minds

1989:  Bo Jackson #16 of the Kansas City Royals practices his swing as he prepares to bat during a game in the 1989 season.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Last week Bo Jackson said that, if he had it to do all over again, he would have never played professional football and that he would never let his kids play. The sport is too violent, he said. “I’d tell them, ‘Play baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, just anything but football.’”

Fair enough. Thom Loverro of the Washington Times, however, thinks that Bo could do more than simply give his opinion on the matter. He thinks Bo should become an official ambassador for Major League Baseball:

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, pick up the phone right now and call Bo Jackson. Tell him you have a job for him — vice president of something, whatever you would call the man in charge of converting a generation of young athletes to baseball. And pay him what he wants.

You won’t find a better symbol of the differences between the two sports than Bo Jackson. After all, he was an All-Star in both. Bo knows football. Bo knows baseball.

Bo, tell the children — baseball over football.

The Children: “Who is Bo Jackson?”

Yeah, I’m being a bit flip here, but dude: Jackson is 54 years-old. He last played baseball 23 years ago. I’d personally run through a wall for Bo Jackson, but I’m 43. I was 12 when he won the Heisman trophy. While he may loom large to middle aged sports writers, a teenager contemplating what sport to play is not going to listen to someone a decade or more older than his parents.

This isn’t terribly important in the grand scheme of things, but it’s indicative of how most columnists process the world through their own experiences and assume they apply universally. It’s probably the biggest trap most sports opinion folks fall into.