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.”