Justin Smoak has been making $500,000 a year to take up a roster spot on the Seattle Mariners. Maybe they have even been paying him to lose games. This now 26 year old kid was once the 11th overall pick by the Texas Rangers back in 2008.
As the prize return in the Cliff Lee trade between the Mariners and Rangers, Smoak was expected to be a franchise changing first baseman. Well he has been franchise changing. Just in the wrong direction.
In his three years in Seattle, Smoak has never played in more than 132 games. Has never had more than one hundred and five hits. Has never hit 20 home runs. Never more than 55 RBI never less than one hundred and five strikeouts. And never above a .234 batting average.
I gave Smoak a little bit of a break after the 2011 season because he was hurt and had to deal with the loss of his father. But he legitimately was worse in 2012. He got hurt again but only went on the DL a short time. He was doing so poorly that the Mariners sent him down to the triple A Tacoma Rainiers.
The Mariners have developed or acquired a couple of options at first base such as Kendrys Morales, Mike Morse or maybe shifting Jesus Montero from behind the plate to first base so there will be room for Mike Zunino.
If it were up to me Smoak would not be attending Mariners spring training this year. But sadly I have no say in the matter. I can see no way that Smoak should be playing first base for the Mariners this coming season when they have so many other options available.