By Sad Bob
*All sad opinions and sad commentary in this sad article are the views of the sad author and do not necessarily reflect the more positive and upbeat opinions of spikedkoolaid.com
I am still new to baseball. My interest in baseball could be called a juvenile love of baseball. My grandson loves baseball, and most of my baseball experiences are his experiences. When we first started going to the games the world on professional baseball bombarded us. Maybe luck, maybe fate; but 3 players stood out at our randomly chosen first 2 games. Kyle Seager, Robinson Canó, and Félix Hernández. Félix pitched both games, and Kyle and Canó had great games. Canó not only looked like an all-star early, but his “I am always having fun” persona on the field could not be missed. Although Kyle is easily the boy’s favorite, Canó was his 2nd favorite player (although Mitch Haniger was closing in.) Now he called Canó a “cheater.” I think it is possible that he has lost my grandson’s vote for Hall of Fame, fair or not.
As everyone has heard at this point, Canó is serving an 80-game suspension. Just this Monday I wrote “Canó might not be the face of the franchise, but was certainly the heart and soul” when I was sad that a pitch broke his hand. Little did I know then that Robby was already dealing with an investigation into PEDs. I now wish I did not write this, nor remind everyone that I wrote it, but I did. I admit I am no expert on PEDs, but I thought they were used to add strength (i.e. in aiding into the long ball.) I do not think they help with laying a bat on a ball, or help with fielding a ball. Both of which were the real strengths that Canó brought to the table. But this is not an article on why he took PEDs, I do not care why. I am mad at him, he failed the grandson. This is where we go from here.
From what I have read, Canó will lose about $11 million (and any chance at playing in the post season.) From what I have also read the Mariners are free to use that money how they choose. Last I looked, there were quite a few teams that threw in the towel as early as April. I admit I am no expert on trades in the MLB, but it seems sound that this means that there are players that could be available for sale. I do not know what we really have as trade options, but I wonder if maybe there are teams that would be willing to “let” Mariners assume the salary of a player or two. Either way I will not get into specifics, as I do not know enough to do so. Instead I will just go into my wish list.
Conventional wisdom might say that the Mariners go out and try to find a 2nd baseman. If the Astros are willing to swap José Altuve for Canó I am game. That is not going to happen though. Although not perfect we could move people around to fill 2nd base. We have two Gordon’s that could work out. Gordon Beckham could be a short term fix at 2nd. He does appear to have potential, but I doubt he will ever replace Canó’s bat. Dee Gordon has the resume, and is a hitting machine. However that could leave a hole in center field. Neither is perfect, but I believe that Scott Servais and Jerry Dipoto could come up with something already on contract to fill the gap for now. What I think they cannot do is cover pitching.
I do not know if $11 million is enough to cover this, but my ultimate wish list is to find another 4th or 5th starter caliber pitcher to throw at the wall. As well as another 2 or 3 bullpen pitchers. They could even be prospects, but I just do not see the Mariners going anywhere with the current pitching staff. To be fair, run support would go a long way to help hide the pitching problem (which we have lacked in some games) but I think we can correct that. But not pitching.
If this happens, and things work out I think it might be time to flirt with the idea of looking into a future that does not include a $240 million 2nd base man. Too soon?