Robinson Cano‘s decision to leave the bright lights of New York is a complete shock in and of itself. However, the fact that Cano ditched the powerful New York Yankees for the 71-91 Seattle Mariners is one of the biggest surprises in MLB history. The immediate backlash from Cano’s 10-year, $240 million is that the second basemen will dabble in obscurity with the pathetic Mariners and the deal will go down as a failure.
However, that doesn’t have to be the case. The heat is now on Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik to surround Cano with talent and rebuild an otherwise embarrassing everyday lineup. First and foremost, Seattle still has to fill the void that Kendrys Morales left in the offseason by declining a 2014 qualifying offer worth $13.1 million. Morales was undoubtedly the Mariners’ best hitter in 2013, yet his replacement shouldn’t be that hard to find.
For instance, the Kansas City Royals are actively shopping first basemen/designated hitter Billy Butler, who would serve as a wonderful bat behind an All-Star like Cano. In addition, powerful outfielders like Nelson Cruz, Carlos Beltran and Shin-Soo Choo remain on the open market. The Cano contract will be the talk of baseball for weeks to come, yet the Mariners’ work isn’t anywhere close to being done as this team needs to finish the job and surround their new “franchise” player with a few difference makers.