Free Agents Remaining on the Market and some Nick Franklin assessments

Not a whole lot left on the market of value to the Mariners.  Here is what’s out there by position

Catchers

Kelly Shoppach

The M’s have gone out of their way to acquire some catching depth by re-signing Humberto Quintero and adding John Buck as a quality back-up.  I’m assuming Mike Zunino will start the season in Seattle, but in the event of injury or if Zunino should start the year in Tacoma, the M’s are better fixed than last year’s catching disaster.

Infielders

Stephen Drew  SS     Kendrys Morales  DH/1B    Alexi Cassilla 2B  Brandon Inge 3B   Casey Kotchman  1B    Munenori Kawasaki  Ut    Justin Turner  SS/3B

Mariners are pretty well set in the infield with the acquisition of Cano, and the signing of Willie Bloomquist as a utility dude.  The fight for at-bats at first base between Justin Smoak, Logan Morrison and Corey Hart should be interesting.

Outfielders

Nelson Cruz RF    Tyler Colvin OF/CF     Juan Pierre  OF

Sadly, Nelson Cruz is better than the outfield they currently have.  Tuesday’s interview with Corey Hart on Shannon Drayer’s Hot Stove League was revelatory.  Though willing to play wherever, Corey Hart sees DH as an opportunity to prolong his career, so I question the amount of time he’ll spend patrolling the green pastures of Safeco Field.

Starting Pitchers (* denotes left-hander.)

Ubaldo Jimenez    A.J. Burnett    Chris Capuano*   Jon Garland    Tommy Hanson    Aaron Harang    Jair Jurrjens    Paul Maholm*   Jason Marquis    Jeff Niemann    Roy Oswalt    Clayton Richard    Ervin Santana          Johan Santana    Jake Westbrook

I haven’t heard any recent noise the M’s will sign another starter, which sounds like they are all in on reclamation project Scott Baker, and youngsters Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, and Erasmo Ramirez.  This is a place the M’s could still make a move, but they may be all in if they sign Cruz. Would love to see Capuano in a Mariners uniform. Lots of bad pitching.  Lots of expensive options.  Lots of broken hurlers.

Relief Pitchers (* denotes left-hander)

Octavio Dotel    Frank Francisco    Mike Gonzalez*    Kevin Gregg    Joel Hanrahan    Jeff Karstens    Brandon Lyon    Ryan Madsen    Christhian Martinez    Zach Miner    Brett Myers    Oliver Perez*    Tony Sipp                  Jose Valverde

With Thursday’s signing of Fernando Rodney, it’s unlikely the M’s spend major bucks to add to the bullpen.  However, if they could bring back Oliver Perez it would strengthen what they have.  Perez is effective against lefties and right-handers, and simply succumbed to over-work last year.

Nick Franklin

Though I pushed for the M’s to deal 2B/SS Nick Franklin for a needed piece for the M’s, ESPN’s Buster Olney suggested there just isn’t much of a market at the moment.  Pointing at his lack of consistent production at the major league level last year, and his high strikeout rate, rival front office types suggested the M’s keep him in the PCL, and give him a chance to demonstrate his domination of that league.  He’d be more likely to garner more useful trading partners near the trade deadline.  You can read the article here, but you must be an insider.

 

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