If you just joined us, Geoff Baker is one of Dr. D's favorite sportswriters ever. He would be --- > sportswriting's equivalent of a giant treblehook in Howard Lincoln's posterior. To say that Baker is skeptical of M's brass' intentions is like saying Scottie Pippen is skeptical of the Warriors' 73-9 record. So you'll be interested in this op-ed, New Mariners ownership fed up with mediocrity, being the butt of community's jokes.
1. Seattle's perception of the M's is that they've lost for 15 straight years, they hypocritically blocked a SoDo arena and the NBA, and that they're the "butt of jokes" locally.
2. The questioning of the M's commitment to winning is legitimate, and has been leveled at them by their own coaches and players. 2002, 2003, 2007, and 2011 were notable examples of apathy towards supporting potential winners.
2a. Contrast Toronto's additions of Price and Tulowitzki this year.
3. Stanton (and Chris Larson) appear genuine about their thirst for victory, have been empowered to run things by Nintendo prior to the official transfer, and Lincoln has /cosigned the new orientation.
4. The new Mariners don't believe tactically in lots of marquee free agents. That's not inconsistent with devoting resources to other areas, notably July rentals.
5. Actions speak louder than words, sez Geoffy. We'll see.
The M's are playing so well it's sort of hard to think about which position could accommodate a rental. ;- ) Hard for you, that is, because you have been indoctrinated by the M's P.R. to think of a Big Rental as being Kendrys Morales. Not hard for Eastern Seaboard teams, who identify their own rental targets by simply asking "Which pending free agents are the best players?"
DEXTER FOWLER, CF is playing with a mutual option for 2017, which at $9M he'll certainly decline. Has a .467 OBP and 2.4 WAR already. Of course, the Cubs might prefer to "rent" him for themselves.
EDWIN ENCARNACION, DH. Fangraphs has already written off the Jays at 14% to win the division :- ) so should be an easy get.
JOSE BAUTISTA, OF is on a $14M deal and would be strictly a rental. But, man, imagine any lineup along the lines of Cano, Cruz, Seager, Bautista, and Smith-Lee/1B etc. The M's could put a corner OF in for Aoki easily enough, since Marte has solidified his ability at the top of the order.
RICH HILL, SP will be on the market. Need we say more. Hey, while we're slumming, Josh Reddick is a free agent. He's batting .325/.387/.472. For those of you who can't stand to give up young talent.
MARK MELANCON, BRAD ZIEGLER, KENLEY JANSEN, perhaps WADE DAVIS, and JONATHAN PAPELBON could all be in play in July. Hey, if the Yankees can push Andrew Miller down for Aroldis Chapman, we could push Cishek down for Mark Melancon, you'd think. Hey, for that matter Aroldis Chapman is a pending FA. We're sure our pal Geoffy would have little problem with Chapman coming to Seattle.
Quite a reliever market this summer; we listed the closers, but there are another dozen or two solid setup guys, looks like. Hey, why wait. By the time Edwin Diaz got here, we could have a KC-West bullpen.