After disappointing 101-loss season, despite their payroll reached well over $100 million, the winter in Seattle has been cold (NFL's Seahawks missed the playoff for the first time in several years, NBA's Supersonics were kidnapped by Oklahoma City as well).
Now with their franchise star, J.J. Putz, and their best hitter, Raul Ibanez leaving Seattle, this winter was real cold for the Seattle fans. But the Mariners needs to make one more move before they head out to Peoria, AZ for Spring Training. Add a power bat.
The Mariners can hit. You may be surprised with the fact that the Mariners can hit, but the Mariners don't know how to score a run. Ibanez, who left for world champion Philadelphia Phillies, was their only RBI maker. Now he is gone.
The Mariners needs someone to take Ibanez' role. So who would be the fit? I think, former New York Yankees right fielder Bobby Abreu is the perfect fit for this club.
Abreu, who will turn 35 before the start of the next season, was not offered arbitration by the Yankees. So if any team signs him, it would not cost a draft pick. Abreu hit for .296 with 20 home runs and 100 RBI last season for the Yankees.
He was paid $16 million last year, but the Mariners opened up significant cap space with Putz and Ibanez departure. Why not sign him to short term deal?
If the Mariners can sign Abreu, then the Mariners can be more flexible trying to trade Ichiro, who kills the Mariners team chemistry. Ichiro is paid $18 million, and his contract will go for four more years, including the next year.
I'd take Abreu over Ichiro, since Abreu can hit homers and knocks in runs, which helps the team the most. Only thing Ichiro does is get on base, which doesn't help the Mariners a lot, since they don't have a guy knocking in runs. Abreu is cheaper, and he can steal bases, just like Ichiro can.
The Mariners have Endy Chavez, Franklin Gutierrez and Ichiro as their starter. Good if they only play defence, but some needs more power. Bringing in Abreu would definitely solve the problem.
Some people prefer Adam Dunn over Abreu. But here's a problem with Dunn. I see him as next Richie Sexson, the Mariners fans nightmare. If Dunn moves to Seattle, first he needs to adjust to American League pitchers, which might be tough.
Then, he needs to adjust to Safeco Field, which is more like a pitcher's park(although the Mariners pitchers don't do well in Safeco).
Dunn was amazing with the Reds since the Reds home field, Great American Ballpark, was known as a hitter's park. When he got traded to the Diamondbacks, their home field was Chase Field.
Chase Field is not a hitter's park since they close roof to prevent the air to get dry too much, but it's not a pitcher's park at the same time because Arizona is a dry place still. But Dunn struggled in Arizona. If he comes over to Seattle, I see him struggle badly and getting traded by the deadline next year.
It's unclear that the Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik would add another free agent this winter. But if he does, I'd want to see Abreu coming to Seattle. He would fill the hole created by Ibanez perfectly, and would help the Mariners to rebuild.