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Players That I Would Like To See Wearing Mariner Blue Volume 1

April 24, 2008

It’s no secret that the Mariners need another power hitter.  With the obvious options next off-season being Ken Griffey Jr. and Mark Teixeira, I’d like to take this in a new direction.  (Not that we shouldn’t go after Teix and Griff–and let’s be honest it’s pretty much guaranteed that Jr. is wearing #24 in Seattle next year)  There’s one hitter on the market who doesn’t play well to this ballpark but would still inject this lineup with the power and patience it so desperately needs.

That hitter is Pat Burrell.

I’ve been kicking this idea in my head the last week or so and the more I think about it the more it makes sense.  Burrell ran a .256/.400/.502 line last year while being hated on by Phillies fans the whole way.  He took 114 BB’s which would’ve easily been the highest on the Mariners last year.  And also, he cranked 30 long balls, once again more than any Mariner hit in 2007.  He’s 31 this year so age is a concern but it appears Burrell’s just now hitting his best years…it’s not totally out of the question that a hitter who’s prime skills are patience and power may prosper in his early thirties.  I’d figure it would take 3/$40 or 4/$55 to get him wearing Mariner blue.  That’s about what we paid Sexson, but Burrell is the superior hitter by a fair margin.

Now I know he is a right-handed pull hitter which doesn’t suit Safeco too well but his home runs are generally towering shots.  They’re not cheap, despite the ballpark he plays in.  If Burrell signs with Seattle, I would expect no less than .250/.385/.475, which is a damn solid line and a true cleanup hitter considering he would play half his games in Safeco field.

You can also hide his defensive shortcomings in the smaller right field of Safeco, allowing Wladimir Balentien to take LF with his superior range so Ichiro can shade more towards RF to help Burrell.

Burrell is down on my list of priorities but he is a free-agent this offseason and would a punch to a lineup that could really use it.  Priority number one is signing Teixeira, two signing Griffey, three trading Washburn to free up some payroll, and four signing Burrell.  That’s not to downplay the importance of this move.  This team needs power.  This team needs patience.

This team needs Pat Burrell.

–Brett

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