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What Should the Mariners #1 Offseason Priority Be?

October 30, 2007

By Brett

Now that the offseason is officially here, I feel it’s as good a time as ever to post this. You might be surprised by my answer to this question, but I think the answer is hitting. Yes, hitting. The Mariners could use a legitimate power and walk threat in the middle of the order more than I could use a winning lottery ticket. In Safeco Field it’s important to have a moster power threat who can hit one out of any ballpark. A merely average power hitter sees their long balls die at the track and get hauled in for outs. An average offense looks below average in Safeco. Good offense is extremely important in this park. After all, Baek, Morrow, RRS, Campillo, Lehr, Feierabend, and Rohrbaugh can all look like acceptable #5 starters in Safeco field. I’d of course love to upgrade the rotation with a better starter, a Curt Schilling or Hikori Kuroda maybe, but that’s less important than putting a bat in Safeco that might help us have a better RS/G at home. We need a star in this lineup. Raul, Adrian, and Ichiro are all good, but I believe it would take a different type of hitter to make this offense a unit to be feared.

We need Adam Dunn.

Dunn has a $13.5 million option with Cincinnati this year that will likely be picked up. Rumor has it Cincinnati GM Wayne Krivsky is stupidly looking to deal Adam Dunn because he strikes out too much and isn’t clutch. So let me just re-iterate that for you. Wayne Krivsky has a problem with a left-handed bat who put up a .264/.386/.554 line with 40 HR last year. I, on the other hand, have no problems with that hitter. I’ll take two, please.

Before I get all gung-ho with seemingly undervalued offers we have to consider what Cincy’s needs are. They need a starting Catcher, Bullpen arms, a first baseman, and starting depth. So here’s their list of needs:

  • Catcher
  • First Baseman
  • Relief Pitching
  • Starting Pitching

Okay, fair enough, let’s see how the Mariners match up at those positions.

  • Catcher

—Kenji Johjima, Jeff Clement

  • First Base

—Richie Sexson, Ben Broussard, Jose Vidro, Raul Ibanez

  • Relief Piching

—Sean Green, Mark Lowe, J.J. Putz, Eric O’Flaherty, Jon Huber, George Sherrill, Kam Mickolio, Austin Bibens-Dirkx

  • Starting Pitching

—Felix Hernandez, Jarrod Washburn, Miguel Batista, Brandon Morrow, RRS, Jorge Campillo, Justin Lehr, Ryan Feierabend, Robert Rohrbaugh, HoRam.

So the Mariners are pretty well stacked at Cincy’s desired positions. A Kenji/EOF/Feierabend/Broussard type package may be enough to land Dunn, who would immediately make the Mariners lineup a feared one with his presence in the #4 spot in the lineup. The one problem it creates is it does force Jeff Clement into starting duty, but I think the risk of Clement struggling is worth the reward of Adam Dunn’s bat. Clement could surprise and perform well, though I think he needs another half-season of AAA before he’s fully ready for the show. It’s not too bad though, as he’ll be ready by some time in 2008 no matter what. It’s not a huge risk.

Dunn alone makes this a good offseason for the Mariners, but that doesn’t mean it has to be it. The M’s can afford Dunn and a Schilling type pitcher. Especially since Dunn only adds $1.8 million to the team payroll if he’s acquired for the package I offered Cincinnati.

Of course signing A-Rod would solve everything and save you your trade pieces, but that’s too good to actually happen.

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3 comments

  1. A-Rod would be a really bad signing for the Mariners.

    Other than that, good job with the blog.


  2. It sure might hurt to lose two potential .300 hitters and 1 and a half good ‘pen arms for Dunn, wouldn’t it? I’d love to have him, but not at that cost…

    Now, if we could dump Richie’s contract somehow and pick him up….


  3. Hey Brett,

    Welcome to the Mariners’ blkog-o-sphere. 🙂

    I like your blog, and you’ve done a good job so far, but this post could have been better researched, sorry to say.

    1. Yes, Adam Dunn had am option for 2008, and it was picked up before October ended. As a result, a full no-trade clause kicked in. From mlb.com:

    “He was subject to myriad trade rumors most of his career in Cincinnati, but has more leverage in the upcoming season. Because his option was picked up, a full no-trade clause went in effect until June 15 — with a limited no-trade provision intact for the remainder of 2008.”

    So, neither the Mariners nor any other team will get to trade for him until at least next June, if the Reds put him on the trading block, that is.

    2. I agree that the Reds could use help at catcher(David Ross and his low average, high slugging percentage aside), but I think that they’re fairly set at first base, what with having both Scott Hatteberg returning and the emergence of prospect Joey Votto.

    3. Having said that, yeah, I personally might be interested in yrading for Dunn if he becomes available–but on;y if Richie Sexson has already been traded already. 🙂

    Keep up the good work.

    –Jim



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