Two reports which, if there are some teeth to them and someone acts on them, could really get the offseason rolling in a hurry: The Seattle Mariners are reportedly interested in both Hanley Ramirez and Victor Martinez.
Ken Rosenthal reports that Martinez is believed to be the Mariners top priority this winter. Rosenthal also reported that the M’s were interested in Ramirez, but Bob Nightengale of USA Today goes farther, saying that the Mariners are “aggressively pursuing” him.
Martinez is coming off a career year and is 35-years-old, seeking a four-year deal. Ramirez will likely cost $100 million or more and has become a defensive liability at shortstop. So, yes, both of those guys present some risk. However, Ramirez has shown a willingness to play elsewhere — third base seems like a natural fit — and given how close Seattle came to a playoff spot in 2014 and that they have a still-in-his-prime Robinson Cano, the team is certainly in win-now mode.
Plug in Martinez’s and Ramirez’s bats next to Cano and Kyle Seager in the lineup, endure Ramirez at shortstop for a while and worry about the defense down the road (or move Ramirez to DH eventually) and the M’s could be really, really interesting. Expensive and carrying high expectations to be sure, but certainly interesting.