Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times has recently said that the Mariners have about $10M to use while continuing to improve their team this off-season. Given their chance to win, I wouldn’t be surprised to see ownership allow a slight increase over last year’s payroll. GM Jack Zduriencik’s exciting off-season has already transformed the team from one that could contend, to a team that is favored by many to win the AL West. And that is a definite possibility. Here’s a trio of players that could be brought in for a combined $10M in 2010:
Xavier Nady 1B/OF: Nady was only able to play in 7 games for the New York Yankees in 2009. However, the year before that, Nady played in 148 games and hit 25 home runs. If there is one thing the Mariners are currently lacking, it is power. After deciding to part ways with Russell Branyan, the team brought in defensive-minded first baseman Casey Kotchman. Nady, a righty, could form a perfect platoon situation with Kotchman, a lefty. Nady can also get innings in left to spell Milton Bradley and at-bats as the DH to rest Ken Griffey Jr.
Joe Beimel RP: Beimel is the best un-signed lefty reliever and Seattle does not have a late inning south-paw in their bullpen. The Mariners could use a guy who has played on two playoff teams in two years. During each of those seasons, Beimel pitched in 71 games and in 2007 he appeared in 83 games. Not to mention an ERA that has been below 3.9 since 2005. This is a match that makes almost too much sense.
Yorvit Torrealba C: Torrealba lost his chance to return to the Rockies when the team signed Miguel Olivo to fill his role. Torrealba has spent the last two seasons splitting time with Chris Iannetta behind the plate. In Seattle he would have a similar situation with catching prospect Adam Moore. The Mets are now rumored to be targeting Torrealba but the Mariners would provide him a much better opportunity. Though both teams are in tough divisions, the Mariners will be better and are closer to winning. The Mets are built for now, but not to win now.
This is already a winning team and Jack Zduriencik can make $10M go a long way. These three moves could all be had for rather in-expensive contracts and the team would be wise to give all three an option for 2011 as well.
Do you agree with these ideas? What other moves make sense for the M’s given the remaining monetary funds?
My predictions of a free agent hitter each team will still sign this off-season:
Nationals: Chad Tracy to pinch hit and get some defense at 1st base for Adam Dunn.
Royals: Vladimir Guerrero to DH; maybe play some right to keep Jose Guillen rested. (I would say Scott Podsednik but it appears he is about to sign with them anyway.)
Pirates: Rick Ankiel to play right field and hit 4th/5th.
Orioles: Hank Blalock to play first base though Baltimore may use Garrett Atkins there.
Indians: Jose Molina to mentor the team’s young catching prospects.
Mets: Bengie Molina who will start at catcher.
Diamondbacks: Randy Winn to play left field and mentor their young outfielders.
Padres: Brad Ausmus to backup Nick Hundley at catcher.
Astros: Jerry Hairston Jr. to start the season at short until Manzella is ready
Blue Jays: Endy Chavez is a great defender in the outfield.
A’s: Khalil Greene to possibly get some innings at short and third.
Reds: Miguel Tejada to start at shortstop and hit 2nd.
White Sox: Ryan Church to be insurance for oft-injured outfielders Andruw Jones and Carlos Quentin.
Brewers: Fernando Tatis to provide some pop off the bench from the right side.
Cubs: Orlando Hudson to play second base and hit 2nd.
Rays: Marcus Thames who can hit for power and start if Joyce/Perez need time at AAA.
Mariners: Xavier Nady has power and can split innings at first with Casey Kotchman.
Tigers: Alfredo Amezaga to spend time in center and at second while prospects learn.
Braves: Jeremy Reed who won’t cost to much and can play all three OF spots.
Twins: Orlando Cabrera fit right in last year and he’ll be back to play second base this time.
Marlins: Gabe Gross to provide a lefty bat off the bench.
Rangers: Russell Branyan who will have to sign another cheap, one year deal.
Giants: Yorvit Torrealba to share catching duties with Buster Posey like Torrealba did with Iannetta in Colorado.
Cardinals: Matt Stairs to pinch hit.
Rockies: Jason Giambi will re-sign after a fun run in Colorado last year.
Red Sox: Rocco Baldelli to backup the outfield because I believe they will trade Jeremy Hermida.
Dodgers: Felipe Lopez to play second base and thrive in that lineup.
Angels: Melvin Mora who will get time at third and left.
Phillies: Paul Bako to play catcher at AAA and wait for an opportunity like he got last year with the Phillies.
Yankees: Reed Johnson to split time with Brett Gardner in left.