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.”

Robinson Cano hit his 300th home run last night

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Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.

While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.

Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.

Cooperstown, here he comes.

Reds sign catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year deal

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Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.

The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.

Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.