Well, Robinson Cano is already making a splash in Seattle. In an interview with CBSSports.com and covered today by the popular ESPN talk show Pardon the Interruption, Cano said, “”I’m not going to lie. We need an extra bat, especially a right-handed bat. We have many left-handed hitters. We need at least one more righty.” So, is Cano whining without 2014 even starting? Or, is he correct in his assessment?
Right now, there isn’t a lot of diversity in the Mariners line-up. Besides Cano, projected starters Kyle Seager, Brad Miller, Logan Morrison, Dustin Ackley, and Michael Saunders are all left-handed batters. Any left-handed starter is going to have a leg up on such a line-up, where it looks like at least four or five batters are left-handed. Reading the comments along the lines of needing a right-handed batter, I find no fault with Cano’s statements.
But, by bat did he mean power and production? The Cano signing, in my mind, is similar to when Alex Rodriguez left Seattle for Texas. Rodriguez put up monster numbers, but without a supporting cast Texas was unable to make a playoff push. Not only did they not make a playoff push, the Rangers were last in each of Rodriguez’s three seasons, and Rodriguez demanded an eventual trade where Texas was unable to get face value back. I assume with this signing that Seattle wants to win and keep Cano happy. Cano is going to put up his numbers, and his bat is going to be a welcome addition to the line-up. But, he needs a supporting cast. One bat can’t win it alone.
Was Cano going public to try and push the front office to sign Kendrys Morales? Cano named Morales as a free agent he’d like in Seattle, “a switch hitter who’s got power.” I have no problem with this either, because Cano is right. Morales still being available is a gift to the Mariners. He has already proven he can adjust to hitting unfriendly Safeco Field batting .277 with 23 HR and 80 RBI. With his proven bat, re-signing Morales after giving up a top starter, Jason Vargas, for him last season seems like a no-brainer. Without Morales, the DH option looks to be Corey Hart. Besides never playing in the American League, Hart missed all of 2013 with knee problems. If Hart stays healthy all season, I think his bat is a welcome addition. But it’s another if, for a team that has already lost two starting pitchers before the start of the season. The Mariners do need another bat, specifically Kendrys Morales. I hope the Mariners get a deal done before his talents go elsewhere.