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I just dumped about 550 words into a half-done article about the talks between the Seattle Mariners and Robinson Cano breaking down last night.

I have never been so happy to waste so many words.

You may be privy to this, but $240 million over 10 years is a lot of coin for a lot of years that come with a lot of risk. However, I am firmly in the camp that this isn’t a disaster for the Mariners. Yes, he’s knees could explode tomorrow or he could stop hitting like a first baseman that plays a premium defensive position. But, at some point a franchise has to start taking risks if they plan to do big things.

Yankees vs. MarinersYou can argue cart before the horse all you want, but you eventually need that horse. This horse was expensive, but he’s an awesome horse and I’m glad to have him. I have absolutely zero problem with the Mariners signing a bone fide superstar in the prime of his career as the first action with their new Scrooge McDuck vault of money.

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The Mariners likely were backed into a corner — having to go up to that 10th year — and made the choice to go for it. A club that has traditionally been outbid, outspent and out-everything when it comes to chasing down the big fish decided to make this happen.

In a world where a real life baseball team took on all of Vernon Wells’ salary, I’m just not horribly concerned about how the back end of this deal looks. It’ll probably be heavily back loaded, so there’s a chance this is still one of the bigger AAV contracts in baseball several years from now. Maybe I’m just too excited right now, but I think that this player signing for this contract isn’t something we should worry about.

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Plus, the Felix Hernandez window. If the M’s continued to sludge through his career trying to figure out how to patch-work a winning team together, it would have been a crying shame. They have now handed The King and Cano massive deals that show they aren’t the penny-pinchers of old.

Remember when Pudge Rodriguez signed that deal with the Detroit Tigers several years ago? One of the worst teams in history investing a significant portion of their payroll into one player were called fools for thinking it would save them. There’s no garuntee that the Mariners fortunes will turn the way those of the Tigers did, but this signing could very well be our culture changer. There is absolutely no way that this is all the M’s do.

They aren’t done. This is just the beginning.

There will be many more words — with deeper thought and value — to come. But right now, Mariners fans, celebrate.


  1. The Cliff Lee deal was an amazing gift from the Phillies that no GM could pass up.

  2. Wow, that could be a powerful, but brutal defensive outfield, if Soriano and Beltran are playing the corners.

  3. two of ellsbury, gardner, beltran, ichiro, wells, soriano will be released or traded. You can take ellsbury and beltran out of that equation.

  4. Can anyone explain to me what the hell the Yankees are doing?

    I mean, let me get this straight… the Yankees refuse to give Cano 10 years (even though he rarely misses a game) because it will take him into his 40’s, but the will give 7 years/153 million to an injury prone outfielder and 3/45 million for another outfielder on the decline in his 37, 38, and 39 year old seasons? Isn’t Vernon Wells and Ichiro still on their 25 man roster? They have a ton of old players right now that will all need time at DH (A-Rod, Texiera, Jeter, and Soriano) and now you throw Beltran into this mix. This is going to be fun to watch play out!

  5. What an offseason, players are just flying off the board!

    I looked up Nelsen Cruz stats at Safeco the past three years and you are so right! With 86 AB he has 30SO, 2HR, an .198 AVE, .250OBP, .337SLG, and .587OPS. I don’t want the guy AT ANY PRICE NOW!

    I wonder if Boras will just hold out on Choo until someone gives him a crazy offer since he is about the only big name offensive player left?

  6. Well Napoli and Beltran are off the table. All of the sudden the M’s are down to Choo and Morales as far as sticking to their mantra of signing two big bats. I have a feeling Choo might be coming back to Seattle. I also think there is going to be two trades in the next month that bring in a couple of players because impact players on the Free Agent market are all but done. I would think Cruz is a last resort and I don’t think the M’s like him very much and frankly I don’t see Nelson liking Seattle either. His stats would suffer here and he’s never ever hit well in Safeco.

    According to Jason, the M’s have said that they would prefer not to trade Walker to ANYONE let alone TB for Price. So that is music to my ears. I think JZ sees the value of keeping a core of young stars, who are cost controlled around his big $ players. It makes it that much easier to sign a Cano and a Choo and a SP.

  7. Wouldn’t mind Choo or Cruz at reasonable salaries. Don’t think that will happen with Choo. I think it has a good chance of happening with Cruz. Personally I wouldn’t go above 2/$28. Another option…..If KC ends up with Beltran, they may be willing to trade Billy Butler. Yes he is limited to DH but he is a good one and only entering his age 27 season. KC is in need of a SS. Franklin and pieces?

  8. Random thoughts moving forward:

    1.). With the increased dollars from the TV deal and our still relatively low team payroll, we still have money for at least one big bat. We will still have to overpay to get offensive players to sign here, but having Cano on board should help. Guys like Napoli and Beltran might view Seattle in a different light now.

    2.). Divish reports a Price trade would have to include Walker and more. If this is true, no thanks! Pitchers still like Safeco and it is far easier to sign pitchers, we don’t need to trade the farm for them. I like bringing in Colon or Ubaldo Jimenez instead.

    3.). I think we keep Ackley in the outfield and see if he can put a full season together behind the plate. Not so sure he is a MLB center fielder, but hey, if Choo was able to do it last year anything is possible. I am also not trading Franklin unless we get good value for him. If all we can get is $.70 cents on the dollar for him, then I let him start the year in Tacoma. After all, he struggled the 2nd half last year and he wouldn’t be the first player ready for the big leagues to be stuck in the minors (see Edgar Martinez and last year Wil Myers).

    4.). Is anyone going to pay Nelsen Cruz the money he is looking for, especially with draft pick compensation attached to him? Maybe we can get him for much less in a month or two? I also think resigning Morales ON THEIR TERMS is looking more likely.

    5.). I like the idea of signing Choo to play RF and lead off. It seams like the Yankees have a ton of outfielders on the roster so I don’t think you have to bid against them. Maybe 5/100 gets it done?

  9. I’m all for signing Garza, but he’s not coming in for anything near $12 million a season. Probably more like $18 million. I’m still good with it, and keeping Walker.

  10. Wasn’t Cliff Lee a one year rental?

    I do agree with you that trading Walker for Price, Price needs to agree to a long term contract first. You can’t trade for Price with no extension and hope that Price will re-up because the team is winning.

  11. Price also comes with a salary price tag. Walker earns 600k. Price earns 20 million. Why not sign a Garza for 12-15 million and keep Walker. Waker + Garza > Price, IMO. Then you have 8-5 million left over to sign your bullpen piece.

    I get Price’s talent. I do. But it would be better served, IMO, to hang on to the young guys and try to build a Wacha, Miller or Harvey, Wheeler or Fernandez, Turner…etc. type duo with Walker and Paxton. I just think in a year Walker and Paxton are going to be really really good and to put them with Felix, Iwakuma and FA is going to give us the best rotation in the league.

  12. I think holding off on Price and retaining Price makes more sense for the long and short term. Signing Colon and putting money into Choo, Itoi and Cruz would be better all around shoring up the OF. Using Saunders, Franklin and Smoak to land a DH. Choi should get a full shot even if he struggles he can’t be worse than Smoak. Also Peterson is not that far away, late season call up if not in 2015.

  13. Edman, if I recall correctly, David Price does indeed have two years left on his deal, which is the big reason the Rays want to trade him now. Get a large haul from a team unlikely to be able to resign Price, with that team not feeling they’ve been completely robbed on a short term rental. Two year window on a great pitcher is not a terrible trade-off for a top prospect or two, but I would still NEVER give up Walker for him.

    I feel like that would be trading a 22 y/o Price for 29 y/o Price, sure the degree of risk is there with 22 y/o Price, but the payoff is so much greater.

  14. I have no problem trading Walker for Price, however it can’t be for one year of Price. I’m not worried, because Jack has stayed away from one year rentals. Price would have to come with a contract extension.

    I understand your point of view, but Price is what we hope Walker to be. That doesn’t come cheap.

  15. I think JZ has two more BIG signings, be it Choo, Napoli, Beltran, Cruz or pitchers Garza, Jimenez, Colon. He needs at least one more big bat to try and protect Cano and then he needs one SP. And then he is going to get Kemp or Either, I think he gets that trade done at the winter meetings. And frankly I wouldn’t count out another trade no one sees coming.

    The trade I don’t want him to do is Price for Walker and Franklin. Walker and Paxton will be next years, Wacha and Miller. You just don’t trade young, cost controlled pitching studs like that, not if they don’t seem broken and both of those guys seem to have miles of projection left. Frankly the Rays fleeced the Royals last year. Will Myers should have netted you Price, not Shields. You can’t look at that deal and say to yourself, well Myers netted Shields so we have to give up Walker for Price. The Royals overpaid greatly and made a huge mistake by letting Myers go. We would do the same by giving up Walker. Walker will win the 2014 AL Rookie of the Year. Unfortunately the Rays have said any deal with the Mariners for Price starts and ends with Walker, well then it ends, IMO. And frankly that is a good thing. We can sign one of Garza, Jimenez or Colon to slide into the 3 spot. All three of those guys would do just fine.

    Don’t trade Walker!!

  16. I’m good with Ackley in CF, with Almonte backing him up. Rasmus isn’t likely to be dealt by Toronto, and none of the other meantioned CF options do much for me. Seattle needs a RF with some pop.

    Don’t go rabid on acquiring players. Jack is not going to sacrifice all of his cost-controlled options, and suddenly loose his mind by overspending.

    I’d be good with Napoli or Morales (preferred) at first, a trade for someone in RFand LF (shorter contract length). I’m not a Choo fan. He struggles too much against lefthanded pitching, and he’s gonna want way too much money. That wad of money was spent on Cano.

  17. This is a great day! A legit #3 hitter for sure. I think Colby Rasmus would be perfect(as long as we can get him to sign an extension) maybe Franklin/ Ramirez could get him. Sign Beltran and a SP and thats a solid lineup. Need a little RH power of the bench though

    1- Miller SS
    2-Rasmus CF
    3-Cano 2B
    4-Beltran DH
    5-Seager 3B
    6-Smoak 1B
    7-Saunders RF
    8-Zunino c
    9-Ackley LF

  18. I like the Span idea too, hey maybe the Yankees need a 2B would they want to do a swap that involved Gardner for one of ours? Now that would be ironic…..

  19. Just awesome…. Add 1 of Napoli, Beltran or Hart any of these ideally 2 would be good. Love Napoli or Hart to play 1B if Smoak tanks. Hart can play some LF if needed too.

    Then sign Rajai Davis in case we need to platoon Saunders. And Kurt Suzuki to partner Zunino. Then trade Rameriz, Franklin, Romero, Wilhelmsen, Ackley to fill out the roster. Could we get Gallardo and Colby Rasmus, maybe Ethier. I would pass on Kemp.

    Don’t trade Walker….

  20. My number one priority would be an outstanding centerfielder. What beyond Franklin would we need to get Span/Rasmus/Gardner/Pollock/Blanco? Rajai is just money…but has he really got the defensive chops?

    After that, another SP. Colon is perfect…if he’ll take just two years in order not to block the youngsters. By then, Pike and Sanchez and Hultzen could be ready.

    Third, Hart. He’s reputedly a very strong family guy and very involved in the community…so three years will be necessary to convince him to relocate. If he can only DH, that’s OK…let Ackley play first.

    Finally, bullpen pieces. This is something Jack already does well.

    Choo or Beltran? Well, sure. But I find it VERY hard to believe the Yankees will let us outbid them again!

  21. I want a few more surprise moves made. “Good free agents will never sign with the Mariners” is a tired old saw that needs to be put away, and this is the first step in what definitely looks like addressing organizational culture in a positive way at the major league level.

    The next moves I want to see them make are to sign Shin-Soo Choo to play RF and Mike Napoli to play 1B. Sign one of the three remaining decent starting pitchers… whichever one takes the offer that works best. Then if Raul wants to come back for a year to be the DH, I”m happy with that.

    THEN think about a trade… but do one that doesn’t include Taijuan Walker. Especially for David Price. Why trade someone who is projected to be as good as Price within a few years so we can watch him blossom for the Rays while Price either walks into free agency by then, or else re-ups with the M’s and gradually fades? And while we’re at it, please, let’s not trade Brad Miller either.

    Do those signings first. Then see what they can get for a package that could include Smoak and Franklin, and maybe Paxton or a decent prospect. That should bring back a player who would represent an upgrade at whatever position they think needs it.

    Things could be looking up in a bigger way than any of us imagined. It’s one thing to be cursed with hope, but when the hopes actually start to come true… what a high that is. I’m a happy fan today!

  22. Well…this is fun!

  23. Congratulations Jack, and M’s ownership. This one is special. Love that we get to say F*!# YOU New York!!! I think you see a couple more signings and big trades ahead. Maybe they win and maybe they don’t, but they just became both interesting and relevant. They also told their fans they are about more than just making money and seeing their investment grow into the billion dollar franchise it has become.

    Kudos to Jack, Howard, and ownership!

  24. great move. will make winter meetings much more interesting.

  25. Here’s my post-Cano rosterbation:
    -sign Tanaka or Matt Garza (4 yrs/60 mil)
    -sign Cory Hart (3yrs/24mil)
    -sign Chris Perez (2 yrs/10 mil) and John Axford (1 yr/3 mil)
    -resign Franklin Gutierrez and Oliver Perez
    -post and sign Yoshio Itoi
    -bring in Joba Chamberlain, Travis Snyder, Tyler Colvin, and Daniel Hudson on low-cash deals or NRIs

    -trade Nick Franklin, Erasmo Ramirez, and Tim Wilhelmsen to BAL for Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz, and Henri Urretia

    Then I’d let the playing time get sorted out through spring training. If Hart can play in the OF, I’d give Hume time there, as well as at DH and 1B (limiting Smoaks ABs against LHPs). Itoi, Urretia, and Snider/Colvin would join Saunders and Almonte as OF options. In CF, Guti (when healthy), Ackley, and Saunders are all options. Wieters would give the Ms another good power bat (and switch hitter) and allow them to not rush Zunino. The rotation would be Felix, Iwakuma, Garza/Tanaka, and two of Walker/Paxton/Matusz/Maurer/Hudson. Perez and Axford give us two guys with closing experience.

    Plus, all that should fit into the budget.

  26. I have been against them signing Cano but I’ve changed my view, they need to make this statement to their fans, season ticket holders and the other players they want to sign or trade for now and in the next couple of years. It’s a tangible penalty for their past poor performance on the field and an equally real reward for taking care of the business side of things. That makes this move needed and possible. Do it, erase the word “desperate” and move on. There are more moves to make and each one should improve our viewing pleasure.

  27. Ownership approves all deals this big. Lincoln has no say, other than to voice any objection. This isn’t a new development.

    It’s great to see them finally land a big free agent. I guess third time is a charm.

    There will still be those claiming what a mistake this was, never fear.

  28. This one was courtesy of the ownership–the people above Lincoln and Z.
    Now Jack gets to really play GM. It should be fun.

    And BTW…thanks, owners!

  29. Damn. Mind: blown. Who would have expected this?

    Next order of business: Jack, please don’t trade Taijuan Walker. Not unless the return is Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Manny Machado, Oscar Tarveras, or Andrew McCutcheon.

    It’ll be really interesting to see what happens from here. Like it or not, I think this move is Round 1 of a crazy offseason. Hopefully Jack knows what he’s doing.

  30. We have a bonafide all-star, furture HOFer. Exciting. Now maybe others will catch the fever.

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