Seattle Mariners: Team's Biggest Winners and Losers of the Offseason so Far

Madison GuernseyContributor IIIDecember 30, 2013

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 12:  Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners poses for photographs in his new ballpark after his introductory press conference at Safeco Field on December 12, 2013 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Overall, the winter has been a win for the Seattle Mariners. They won the top free-agent prize in Robinson Cano and added other important pieces, having signed veteran slugger Corey Hart and brought back oft-injured center fielder Franklin Gutierrez on a one-year deal with hopes he can stay healthy. 

But a good offseason doesn't come without peril within the organization. The team is getting better, but it's at the expense of a select few.

Here are the winners and losers of the Mariners this offseason.



Robinson Cano

Cano became the highest-paid second baseman in baseball history when he was inked to a 10-year, $240 million contract in early December. That alone makes him a winner this offseason. Cano is a new face of the franchise (not the face) and will be an instant favorite in the Emerald City. 


KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 02:  Starting pitcher Felix Hernandez #34 of the Seattle Mariners warms up prior to the start of the game against the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium on September 2, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/G
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Felix Hernandez

King Felix has another superstar and marquee hitter to play with in Cano. Along with Corey Hart, the lineup gains power and true hitters. A little help in the lineup will give Hernandez a greater chance at improving his win total, something every pitcher says they don't care about.

But when you're as good as Felix your record should show it.

Hernandez ranked 55th out of 81 qualified pitchers with 3.84 runs of support per start last season. Since 2010, Hernandez's starts have yielded an average of 3.52 runs of support.


SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 09:  Kyle Seager #15 of the Seattle Mariners hits a two-run single in the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Safeco Field on August 9, 2013 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Kyle Seager

The additions of Cano and Hart enable Seager to be moved in the lineup. He's accumulated the most at-bats from third in the order (.233/.308/.376), but is much better suited to hit second (.297/.371/.479) or fifth (.324/.373/.505).

Cano figures to hit third with Hart cleanup, so Seager can alleviate himself of the pressures that come with hitting in a major run-producing spot in the lineup.



Brad Miller

The rookie shortstop had a solid beginning to his big league career, but Cano's arrival in Seattle will slow his progression a bit. Nick Franklin will likely move from second base to shortstop, his natural position, making Miller an expendable middle infielder.

Veteran utility man Willie Bloomquist figures to be the primary reserve infielder, so Miller may find himself in the minors, which, in the grand scheme of things, may end up being beneficial.


Nick Franklin

Frankin could move to short, or he could be used as valuable trade bait. He became much more expendable with the addition of Cano and would be a nice piece in a trade to get a middle-rotation starting pitcher at the least.

It would be wise to hang on to the young switch-hitter and let him develop a rapport with Cano up the middle, but Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik's moves this offseason have alluded to winning sooner rather than later, so anything could happen.


SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Justin Smoak #17 of the Seattle Mariners watches his three-run homer against the Kansas City Royals in the fifth inning at Safeco Field on September 24, 2013 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Justin Smoak

When will the Mariners give up on Smoak? The answer may be very soon.

Zduriencik brought in Hart and Logan Morrison, both of whom have played outfield but are far better suited for first base—especially Hart, given his knee injuries.

Perhaps Zduriencik intended for Hart to play outfield, but realistically he'll be at first or DH. Maybe the two were brought in to help motivate Smoak, or at least let him know that his job is no longer safe. He's shown flashes of brilliance, but also long durations of inability.

I think it's fair to say his time in Seattle is ticking rapidly.


Stats obtained via