It is hard to imagine a scenario in which the Seattle Mariners do not make any noteworthy moves to follow up their blockbuster signing of Robinson Cano. Yes, they added Logan Morrison and Corey Hart, but those moves still do not register on the same level as some of the free agents who remain available.
Ideally the Mariners would like to add one more bat to lengthen that lineup and protect Cano. The biggest name, and the one that would most satisfy the “big move” criteria, would be Nelson Cruz. But the Mariners could also turn to a more familiar face, a guy whom they gave a qualifying offer at the beginning of the off-season: Kendrys Morales.
Jon Heyman of CBS suggests that a reunion is a possibility:
…the Mariners could still be a possibility if they are willing to trade Justin Smoak (while GM Jack Zduriencik remains a Smoak believer, others would love Morales back). Like Cruz, he’d provide excellent protection for the new star Cano. Plus, he was a big hit in the clubhouse with the team’s nice young nucleus.”
Smoak, a 27-year-old first baseman, batted .238/.334/.412 last season. Considered one of their most promising prospects in recent years, he just has not clicked yet (though he did show promise in 2013 with 20 home runs and a 109 wRC+).
Can the Mariners afford to continue his development while also feeling the pressing urgency created by the Cano move? The answer to that question might be the deciding factor in whether or not they revisit talks with Morales.