Bob Nightengale of USA Today shared an interesting bit of information this morning – the Seattle Mariners want to add Hanley Ramirez this offseason, and apparently they want him really badly.
The Seattle #Mariners are aggressively pursuing free agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez, letting him know how badly they want him.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 10, 2014
If the Mariners find a way to land Ramirez, they would boast arguably the most offensively-dominant middle infield in all of baseball. Combining Ramirez and Robinson Cano would turn a decent Seattle lineup into a very dangerous one. Take a look at how the two infielders produced at the plate last season:
For both players, their home run numbers were their lowest since Cano’s 14 in 2008 (aside from Ramirez’s injury-plagued 2011 season).There is more than enough reason to expect the protection provided by one another in the lineup would provide ample opportunities offensively.
Adding Ramirez would fix a few glaring issues within the Seattle offense. First of all, their offense is prominently left handed. In fact, aside from Corey Hart and Mike Zunino, the rest of the starters hit left handed. By adding a powerful and skilled right handed bat to the lineup, manager Lloyd McClendon would be presented with a more balanced lineup.
Secondly, the Mariners need a drastic upgrade over current shortstop Brad Miller. Hitting .221 with 10 home runs and 36 runs batted in over 411 plate appearances won’t cut it. Not just that, but a .288 on base percentage makes Miller a sure out over 70 percent of the time. In addition, his .958 fielding percentage doesn’t grant him any favors with management either (though he did have just two more errors than Ramirez’s 16).
At this point, the Mariners interest in Ramirez is nothing but a rumor, nonetheless one with great potential and upside for both player and organization. Seattle took great strides in the first season under McClendon as they finished 12 games over .500 and in third place of the AL West. The addition of Ramirez might just be the next step to help them reach the postseason.
The last time the Mariners reached the postseason was 2001 – their first year without star shortstop Alex Rodriguez. Perhaps the return of an All Star shortstop will bring October baseball back to Seattle.
Cover Photo: Harry How/Getty Images
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