The Seattle Mariners added a ton of payroll and a significant amount of hype this past off-season when they made the bold move to sign second baseman Robinson Cano. Now they are eyeing another bold move to improve their work at the shortstop position, though certainly not to the extent of the Cano signing.
The rumor mill also links the Mariners to a player being shopped by Chicago’s other club: shortstop Alexei Ramirez of the White Sox.
Still, this rumor makes some sense: Ramirez, 32, is a right-handed bat — something the Mariners covet — and is enjoying a renaissance season with seven homers, 36 RBI and a .309 average in 69 games.
Dutton also notes that the Mariners would have to add payroll to accommodate the $9.5 million due Ramirez this year and the $10 million due next season. That should not be a huge issue for Seattle, however, as they did have multiple offers on the table for Kendrys Morales before he landed with the Minnesota Twins. It might not be easy, but it seems reasonable to think that the front office could make the money work.
The Mariners have had moving parts at short for the last couple seasons. One of their top prospects, Nick Franklin, was moved to second base to make room for the current incumbent Brad Miller. Unfortunately Miller is batting a meek .179 this season and Franklin was displaced by the aforementioned move with Cano, leaving him in the minor leagues for now.
The Mariners apparently feel they went from two young options at shortstop to none, and for a team that is still searching for enough offense, that might nudge them into the trade market.