Seattle Mariners bolster their roster, but will it be enough?

Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano

The Seattle Mariners made a big splash this off-season by finalizing a $240 million, 10-year contract with five-time All-Star Robinson Cano. Cano comes to the Mariners following a strong year with the New York Yankees. He appeared in 160 games last season, hitting .314 with 27 home runs and 107 RBI.

But will Cano live up to his contract that is tied for the fourth highest in major league history? History tells us no.

The Mariners have a reputation as being the Yankees of the west, overpaying star players so they have no choice but to come join them whether or not they really want to play there or not. You may remember names such as Richie Sexson, Adrian Beltre, or more recently, Chone Figgins. All these players didn’t live up to the hype of their contracts and ultimately didn’t help the Mariners win games. Those three players amounted to $150 million in salary, but that number looks pedestrian compared to the $240 million Cano is set to make.

I have a hard time imagining how a 31-year-old Cano is going to be able to produce decent numbers when he starts to dip into his late 30s and early 40s. It’s no wonder why the Yankees “only” offered him $175 million over seven years.

But the Mariners needed to add a big bat to their lineup. That’s exactly what GM Jack Zduriencik pulled off.  Their best bat in the lineup last season was DH Kendrys Morales. He hit .277 with 80 RBI and 167 hits. That’s just not going to cut it for the best batter on a team. They will need a lot of people to step up though if they want to see themselves anywhere close to the top of the division, especially with the recent announcement that Franklin Gutierrez will sit out the 2014 season with gastrointestinal issues.

Seattle also added Fernando Rodney to their bullpen by signing him to a two-year, $14 million contract. Rodney, 36, had 37 saves last season, while posting a 5-4 record and 3.38 ERA in 68 appearances. But again, the Mariners have holes in their pitching rotation. Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma are solid starters at the top of the rotation, but it gets questionable after that. Zduriencik has said he isn’t necessarily done signing players, so time will tell if more additions will be made.

Changes have also been made at the manager position with Lloyd McClendon taking over. His last stint as a manager was nine years ago with the Pittsburg Pirates. Since then McClendon has been working under Jim Leyland in Detroit. McClendon is optimistic the team will win games right away, and with each high paying move made to the roster the pressure to win sooner rather than later piles on.

Workouts are just starting, so it’s too soon to know how their current roster will pan out. But their first spring training game is coming up on February 27 against the San Diego Padres.