The Seattle Mariners have been performing a balancing act as of late with their win percentage. For the last few weeks they have been at .500 or within a game or two of the mark and they can’t seem to find a way to get over the hump. The Mariners have called up Dustin Ackley in the last month, hoping he could be a boost to the worst offense in all of baseball. Surprisingly, he has played very well posting a .298 avg, .359 OBP and hitting 3 HR in 57 AB’s. Add to that 2 triples and a double and 6 of his 17 hits have been for extra bases.
The Mariners also recently called up Kyle Seager, who happens to be a former little league rival of Ackley’s along with his teammate at North Carolina. Seager was called up a few days ago to replace Chone Figgins at 3rd base. Figgins has been a huge disappointment since joining the Mariners, signing a 4 year, $36,000,000 deal. Figgins still has two years and and a vesting option left in the deal that will see him make an avg of $8,500,000 in each of those two years. It’s interesting to see Seager called up to the MLB level so soon. He had just been bumped up to the AAA level 2 weeks prior. However, in those two weeks at AAA Tacoma, Seager had hit .455 with 25 hits in 55 at bats. That’s a line that you can’t really ignore when your offense is as bad as Seattle’s. If Seager can put up numbers anywhere close to that, or those of his college teammate’s then the Mariners made a great call bringing him up.
Carlos Beltran has been one big name mentioned in recent trade talk as a possible solution to the teams history of horrible left fielders. So far this season the Mariners have thrown Michael Saunders, Mike Wilson, Carlos Peguero, Mike Carp, Greg Halman, Ryan Langerhans and Milton Bradley into the mix. Neither of these seven players have been able to hold down the spot for more than 38 games. Peguero who is the leader in games played at LF is surely going to be sent down sooner than later. Beltran, who has had a history of health issues since signing a massive 7 year, $119,000,000 deal with the Mets looks to finally be healthy again and is putting up solid numbers.
Beltran is hitting .283 with 13 HR and 26 doubles on top of his .372 OBP. That would easily make him the most feared hitter if he was in the Seattle lineup. The advantage of having him hit fourth while dropping Justin Smoak to hit behind in front would be a great help not only to Smoak, who would have a legitimate hitter protecting him in the lineup, but also to the entire Mariners offense. Of course there are potential hold ups preventing a marriage of hitter and team needing said hitter. Beltran is in the last year of his contract, which could be a good thing or bad thing depending how you look at it. However, Beltran also has a full no trade clause in his contract that would make a deal less likely to happen. Lets face it. Not many hitters want to come to Safeco Field. The park is notorious for ruining hitters. Look at examples such as Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre. Beltre has a few sub par offensive seasons after his breakout year with the Dodgers, then magically after joining both Texas and Boston has seen his numbers skyrocket again.
Regardless of what happens over the next few weeks until the trading deadline, if the Mariners want to get serious about contending in 2011 they will have to focus their attention on upgrading what is one of the worst offenses not only in the MLB this season, but in the history of the game.