Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Time for a Mariner shake up Last season the Seattle Mariners acquired Jesus Montero, and it looked like they had finally found their middle of the order bat of the future. But Montero faltered in his first season with the M’s, and didn’t show as much clout as everyone was hoping. And while I still think Montero is going to be an All-Star, Seattle needs more to shore up their lineup. So whose the answer? How about my man in the hot corner, Chase Headley. Step 1: Sign a first baseman The first move for the Mariners would be improving the right side of the diamond. Despite his usual torrid September, I’m going out on a limb and saying it’s time Seattle parts ways with Justin Smoak. Even with the improved ballpark, I think he’s a guy that needs a change of scenery. My top picks for the M’s would be Nick Swisher or Mike Napoli. Both players had 24 home runs in 2012, and could be great veteran personalities in a young clubhouse. Step 2: Reshuffle positions After the Mariners find a long term solution at first, it’s time to reshuffle some positions. In this scenario, Kyle Seager would be returning to his natural position at second base. He’s played much better defense there than at third in his career. It would make for a more comfortable middle infield. With Seager moving to second, Dustin Ackley becomes a man without a position. He would move into one of the outfield spots—preferably right field—which seemed like an inevitable move when he was drafted. The Mariners need to chase Chase this offseason. Ackley was great at second in 2012, but his speed and athleticism should transfer well to the outfield. Step 3: Acquire Chase Headley Now that Seattle has finally made the room on the diamond, it’s time to finally get this trade done. But first, a little background on Headley. At 28 years old, Headley enjoyed his best season in 2012. He hit a solid .286/.376/.498 with career highs in home runs (31), RBI (115) and walks (86). Don’t forget, he did that while playing half his games at Petco Park. Headley was solid at the hot corner, posting a 6.0 UZR on the way to winning his first Gold Glove. If Seattle was to acquire Headley, they would have to appeal to San Diego’s needs. The launching point would have to start at pitching. If San Diego wants to focus on the rebuild, the center of the package should revolve around James Paxton. If they think they’re ready to compete, than it could start with Jason Vargas. Add in a reliever like Carter Capps and a middle infielder Alex Liddi, and the Mariners have a great package. Before you get too excited, remember that mystery still surrounds if the Padres even want to move Headley. The rumors have been abundant over the last two years, but San Diego continues to hesitate. If Jack-Z gets aggressive enough, the Mariners have the pieces to get this done. Final Product After all these step, the final product is a remastered Mariners lineup with a whole lot of clout. It would look something like this: 1. Dustin Ackley, RF 2. Michael Saunders, LF 3. Chase Headley, 3B 4. Jesus Montero, DH 5. Kyle Seager, 2B 6. Nick Swisher/Mike Napoli, 1B 7. John Jaso, C 8. Franklin Gutierrez, CF 9. Brandan Ryan, SS Suddenly, the M’s are an elite offensive team with a very challenging middle of the order. Not to mention the improvements it should make to their defensive scheme. All I can say is, Jack if this is a possibility get it done. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE MARINERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
  • I agree Smoak needs to go. I like how you gloss over the fact that he is a malcontent by saying he's in need of scenery change. I like the scenario you have proposed, but how realistic is it? If M's can pull this off I would hesitate to elevate M's to elite offense. A big factor that has been lacking of late is the player mentality with regard to living and playing in Seattle which, for all intents and purposes, is an island far from the rest of the sporting world, where it rains 9 months of the year. It takes a special person to be able to handle the effects of what we refer to as island mentality. From 1977-2002 M's management did a excellent job drafting/acquiring young talent that they developed as ball players conditioned to thrive within Seattle's unique sports environment. Enter Bill Bavasi in '03 and 26 years of team building, player and management development was utterly and completely destroyed by Bavasi's arrogance and incompetence. The M's have yet to remember the psychology of life in the Pacific North West, hence the acquisition of mental midgets like Justin Smoak. So, It's my opinion that, as good of a fit as Headley may be baseball wise, is he equally as good of a fit lifestyle wise? I will reserve judgement until the trade wheels actually begin turning and will first evaluate the proposed acquisition's mental make up.
  • The Mariners are never even going to be worth watching under the direction of Bavasi. He has only put a lousy team on the field year after year. With all of the top draft picks lately you could not do worse than the Mariners are doing!! The only question is how bad will they be next year. I assume they will trade at least 3 of the young pitchers like they did last year (they traded 5 if you count Lee and the other ace). Yes they have raised ticket prices and continue to suck!!
  • What are you talking about Hallesy? Bavasi was fired several years ago. Do you know anything about the M's? And Lee was never going to stay in Seattle anyway, and that trade wasn't last year either.
  • Time warp. Jack Zduriencic is in charge and has the ball rolling the right direction.
  • Hallesy, you're criticizing moves made in the last couple of years which actually benefited the team and then attributing them to a guy that left the organization three years ago... talk about clueless.
  • Whatever we do, get rid of Chone Figgins, maybe Hallsey can get a deal worked where we could trade Ichiro and Chone as a package to the Yankee's. Get it done Hallsey ;)
  • This is one of the stupidest scenarios I've ever heard of. Seriously? Move Seager for Chase Headley? Not a chance! We need a Corner Outfielder and a 1st Baseman. We don't need to create a problem where there isn't one, by moving Ackley--who was just nominated for a Gold Glove--from 2nd Base. Going after B.J. Upton, Josh Hamilton or even Nick Swisher would make WAY more sense. Go after Mike Napoli, who can help out at 1B, DH and Catch. We need at least two big, veteran bats to come in and help out. We may also need a Starting Pitcher or two to take Millwood's and Iwakuma's spots, if the latter decides to sign elsewhere. While Erasmo Ramirez could take one spot, it would be good to have another veteran option in case both leave, to give Hultzen and the others another year to mature. I'd like to see the M's Trade Figgins, Gutierrez and Smoak. Yes, Guti plays great defense when he's healthy and can be an offensive threat. Problem is, he's an accident waiting to happen, which is a total shame. None of them has much trade value, but we could sweeten the deal with one of our many good, young pitchers.

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