With Robinson Cano now the second baseman for the Seattle Mariners incumbent second baseman Dustin Ackley is without a place to play. The Mariners could decide to trade Ackley and the New York Yankees could be interested.
Ackley, who turns 26 in February, was considered one of the Mariners’ top prospects. However, he has struggled since arriving in the Major Leagues in 2011. He owns a .245/.315/.354 slash line with 22 home runs, 117 RBI, 56 doubles and 163 runs in 356 career games. Last season, Ackley appeared in 113 games and hit .253/.319/.341 with four home runs and 18 doubles.
Ackley has lost some of the shine that comes with being a team’s top prospect. He was never considered one of the game’s top prospects but he was believed to be someone who could be a reliable glove and bat up the middle. He is still young enough for that to happen and because of his struggles likely won’t cost much in terms of prospects to acquire.
The Yankees have an obvious need at second base with Cano gone. The Yankees and Mariners have a lot of recent history in the trade market with the Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda trade and the Ichiro Suzuki trade. It wouldn’t be totally unrealistic to see the two teams hook up again.
Ackley would be a nice fit in the Yankees’ lineup. He is a solid fielder and his left-handed bat with a little bit of pop. He won’t see a drastic increase in home run production but he should at least be able to live up to some of the hype that surrounded him as a prospect because the talent is there. He can also play all three outfield spots as he has had some experience in left and center field last year.
Perhaps Ackley struggled to live up to the expectations. Perhaps Ackley struggled in a lineup that was hardly one of the best in the league. It could have been something that went wrong with his development. Maybe it was a combination of two or all three. Only Ackley knows for sure.
It won’t be easy to replace Cano. Whomever the Yankees acquire through free agency, trade or in-house will have a lot of pressure put upon them. Whichever player it is will have to understand that they aren’t going to be expected to replace Cano. They will just have to play their own game and let the cards fall where they may.
Ackley makes sense for the Yankees and the Yankees make sense for Ackley. He would just need to realize he won’t have to be a major cog in the offense. He would just have to play his own game and do his thing. With his talent he could be a very nice piece in the Yankees’ lineup. Now, it is just a matter of whether or not the Yankees think so and what the Mariners would be asking in return.