Seattle Mariners: Release Of LF Ryan Langerhans Precursor To A Pending Deal?

Andy AugerContributor IDecember 13, 2009

BOSTON - SEPTEMBER 15:  Jason Bay #44 of the Boston Red Sox gets a hit against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on September 15, 2009 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox defeated the Rays 3-1.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

It's not like we are heartbroken to see him go, but the Mariners made Ryan Langerhans a Free Agent and will not be retaining his services.

Despite his pedestrian offense and mediocre defense, Langerhans did churn out two walk off wins for the Mariners with his bat. 

His essential release creates an opening on the 40 man roster, a spot that is more then likely going to be filled by a Free Agent. 

Is it a huge move that guarantees the Seattle Mariners are closing in on Jason Bay? No, but it is a little blip on the radar that causes some intrigue with the open roster spot.

Their were a few non tenders of note that could potentially be had to fill the vacant spot Langerhans had on the roster.

Jack Cust- The former Oakland Athletic is the best power hitter to be non tendered. Over the last three seasons he has averaged 28 HR's, 76 RBI's, 112 H's along with 182 SO's and a .242 average. Good power decent RBI production and the ability to draw walks (103 average with Oakland), and a whole lot of Strike Outs.

Comparing him to Langerhans, he is without a doubt an upgrade over him on this roster.

Garrett Atkins- His name was floating around the Mariners in trade rumors during the trade deadline. After posting four seasons with at least RBI his production fell off during 2009. His hefty $7.05 million contract was the main trigger to the gun that launches him out of the Mile High City. 

A guy with the upside to be able to drive in 120 RBI, definitely someone worth taking a gamble on if the price is right as a role player.

Jonny Gomes- A consistent glove who drove in 20 Home Runs in only 281 At Bats. In contrast, the aforementioned Cust hit 25 in 513, Averaging out Gomes' production to 513 AB's would put him at 36 HR's with a about 35 fewer Strike Outs.

Another guy that couldn't hurt the Mariners if they signed him.

Two current free agents that also make the most sense to fill the gap in Left Field are Jason Bay and Mike Cameron.

For those who like to hope way out in Left Field, the release of Langerhans and subsequent Jason Bay contract denial could potentially be connected.

You generally see the timing reversed, a team acquires a player and then makes room for him. With seemingly no one to call up from AAA and down a man in an already power starved Outfield, I will make the guarantee the Mariners are going to sign an Outfielder of some significance to the opening day roster in the coming days.

And with the Boston Red Sox seemingly out of the way, as it stands it appears all the Mariners have to do is match or slightly up the ante on the Mets $65 million proposal to Bay, something they can definitely afford. I believe the home court advantage the Mariners field would be the deciding factor between tying bids.

Figgins, Bay, Lackey, Sheets, Johnson, wouldn't that be a fabulous haul?

Doable to.