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.
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.
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