The case for trading Nelson Cruz

Seattle Mariners management must be ecstatic about the performance of Nelson Cruz since he signed with the ball club prior to the 2015 season. During his first year with the team, “Boomstick” slashed .302/.369/.566 slash, hit 44 home runs and was a Silver Slugger award winner. This season, he is — once again — an offensive force for Seattle. Cruz’s superb play at the advanced age of 36 presents an interesting dilemma for the Mariners. Should they consider trading the slugger now to maximize his trade value? Yes, it’s unlikely…

CLICK

The value of stolen bases

Offensive production in major league baseball has dropped sharply over the past decade. The most frequently suggested causes behind this decline are an aggressive performance-enhancing drug testing, the implementation of state-of-the-art analysis on hitters’ tendencies, rising pitch velocities, increased relief pitcher specialization, and more defensive shifts. Regardless of the cause behind the offensive swoon, teams are seeing fewer hitters reach base. League-average on-base percentage (OBP) in recent years harkens back to the levels that prompted Major League Baseball to lower the pitcher’s mound in 1969. You have to go back…

CLICK

Mariners linked to Jonny Gomes

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com is reporting that the Seattle Mariners, along with the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers have expressed interest in free agent Jonny Gomes. The outfielder started 2014 with the Boston Red Sox and was traded to the Oakland Athletics along with pitcher Jon Lester for Yoenis Cespedes at the July 31st trading deadline. Gomes, who broke into the majors with Tampa Bay in 2005, is primarily a leftfielder; playing that position in 84 games with Boston and Oakland and 11 in right field for both teams. The…

CLICK

Mariners in hunt for Torii Hunter

Tony Paul of The Detroit News is reporting that former Detroit Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter relayed to Mark Whicker of the Los Angeles News Group that he has whittled down his list of potential teams to the Baltimore Orioles, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, and Seattle Mariners. Other teams including the Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, and Toronto Blue Jays had been previously mentioned as possible suitors for the 39-year-old outfielder. The Mariners, who have been aggressively searching for right-handed power bats during this offseason, have been…

CLICK

Free Agents 101: Corner Bats

Kyle Seager makes for a franchise cornerstone at third base, but otherwise the Seattle Mariners have holes at first base, both corner outfield spots, and designated hitter. As it stands Dustin Ackley and Logan Morrison figure to be the club’s starting left fielder and first baseman respectively if the new season were to start today. However both are coming off strong second half performances that may be unsustainable. Seattle also has Michael Saunders penciled in as the everyday right fielder but there are reports that the club will be aggressively shopping…

CLICK

Free Agent Profile: Victor Martinez

Assuming he’s relatively healthy, baseball has a pretty good idea what Victor Martinez brings to the table. The veteran can rake and there is no questioning that. He just completed his best season at the plate, batting .335/.409/.565 with 32 home runs — all career bests — and posted a .411 wOBA and 166 wRC+. Even if 2014 was a bit of an aberration in terms of what’s to come, if he’s in the lineup he’s going to hit because, simply put, he;s a good hitter. But what kind of…

CLICK

Qualifying Offers: Who Should Accept?

It’s year three of MLB’s qualifying offer experiment, and we’ve got our list of players that were extended $15.3 million contracts by their clubs. These are they: Melky Cabrera, Toronto Blue Jays Nelson Cruz, Baltimore Orioles Michael Cuddyer, Colorado Rockies Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates Russell Martin, Pittsburgh Pirates Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers Hanley Ramirez, Los Angeles Dodgers David Robertson, New York Yankees Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants Ervin Santana, Atlanta Braves Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers James Shields, Kansas City Royals During the last two offseasons, exactly zero of the 22 players that…

CLICK

2014 Milestone Watch: Hitters

There’s long been a train of thought that if a player were to reach a certain statistical plateau they’d have their spot reserved in Cooperstown, the baseball Hall of Fame. We’ve all heard of the 500 home run and 3,000 hit clubs as things of legend and lore, and for the most part, all players who have reached at least one of the two milestones are currently in the Hall of Fame. The exceptions to the ‘rule’ are players who have found themselves amidst the controversy surrounding the period in…

CLICK