Former Mariner’s free agent Nelson Cruz signed a one-year contract on Thursday, December 27 with the Minnesota Twins. The contract is for $14 million plus an option for 2020 as well. I am sure all Mariner fans will miss Cruz. On social media, he thanked the Mariners ownership, management, players and fans for his four years in Seattle. I am sure we all thank Cruz for his time in Seattle as well.
The Mariners I am sure felt it was time to move on from Cruz along with the other players they traded away or released. They now have Edwin Encarnacion as the designated hitter. In 2019 the Mariners will pay him $16 million then have a buyout of $5 million for 2020. It seems to me the money is about the same so why not bring back Cruz? The answer to that could take place soon or during the season.
The Mariners may decide to trade Encarnacion before the season begins for some prospects though they may have to pay part of his salary as well. This happens then the Mariners likely won’t have an everyday designated hitter. We could see Jay Bruce who they picked up from the Mets in the trade for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz be at designated hitter well as left field. The Mariners may use Daniel Vogelbach as the DH against right-handed pitchers. Several different options when facing a left-handed pitcher. They could use one of their regulars at DH to rest them in the field on occasion as well. This is true especially if they have some nagging injuries.
I hope they do trade Encarnacion so they can use the money saved to help bring in a starting pitcher and or relief pitcher. I have mentioned before I don’t really like full-time DH’s though Cruz and Edgar Martinez were exceptions to the rule.
Daniel Vogelbach could be considered a DH only player, however, he can play some first base though he has to work on his range. I want players though they may be at DH three or times a week can still play in the field. This would allow a team to add another player to the roster instead of having a player who can only DH.
I am sure Dipoto and his staff are working at adding more depth to the pitching staff. The Mariners certainly need another experienced reliever and an experienced starter would help to go a long way as well to improve the team. The Mariners are now about six weeks away from training camp starting so filling out the rest of the roster will be important. Next time on the Mariners I will list who the Mariners have far as pitching goes on the 40-man roster. I hope we have an addition or two by then.