Coming into the 2012-13 offseason, the Seattle Mariners had one absolute mandate: improve an offense which had finished last in the American League in runs scored in each of the last four seasons. But after striking out on Josh Hamilton, Nick Swisher, and every other offensive free agent with a pulse (unless they become the unlikely landing spot for Michael Bourn), this is the sum total of the new bats Seattle has been able to add so far this winter: Robert Andino, Jason Bay, Raul Ibanez, & Kendrys Morales.
Setting aside Andino for the moment, the trio of Bay / Ibanez / Morales would have been a fantastic group to have in 2009, when all three had career years, each hitting 34 or more homers with a wOBA at .378 or higher. Unfortunately for Seattle, it’s 2013, not 2009, and all three have fallen off markedly over the last few years due to age, injury, or both. While you can make an argument for taking a chance on any of the three, compounding the situation of collecting the entire set is that designated hitter is arguably the best position for each of them. That’s going to be complicated on a Seattle roster which already has two catchers who are around more for their bats than their gloves in Jesus Montero & John Jaso, a first baseman who hits like a middle infielder in Justin Smoak, and out-of-options 1B/DH Mike Carp. Read the rest of this entry »