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Robinson Cano wants the Mariners to bring in Kendrys Morales and Ervin Santana

Mar 2, 2014, 12:25 PM EDT

Kendrys Morales AP

The Mariners’ signing of Robinson Cano to a ten-year, $240 million was supposed to be the kick-off to a wild off-season. When the news died down, the Mariners were reported to have shown interest in trading for Rays ace David Price, and signing free agents Matt Garza and/or Nelson Cruz. GM Jack Zduriencik only ended up signing Corey Hart and trading for Logan Morrison.

The team isn’t exactly bereft of talent, but they still have flaws. Cano, for example, thinks the team is too lopsided on left-handed hitters. He thinks Zduriencik should pick up a right-handed bat, or at least a switch hitter. Via Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:

“I’m not going to lie. We need an extra bat, especially a right-handed bat,” Cano told CBSSports.com. “We have many left-handed hitters. We need at least one more righty. You don’t want to face a lefty pitcher with a lineup of seven left-handed hitters.”

Cano has his eye on Kendrys Morales, who is still a free agent despite posting a .785 OPS with 23 home runs last season.

“He’s a switch hitter who’s got power,” Cano noted. Not only that, but Morales possesses power proven to work at Safeco Field, as he posted 23 homers and 80 RBI in his inaugural season in Seattle.

Morales is still a free agent because he is tied to draft pick compensation, and because he offers little else aside from being a switch hitter with power. He plays first base, but not very well, and is unable to play anywhere else on the diamond. As a result, his best fit is as a DH in the American League, effectively cutting out half of his potential market.

The Mariners, though, would not have to give up a draft pick to sign Morales and they could push Morrison out of the DH spot if they so desired, contingent on Hart’s ability to play the outfield.

Cano, and an unnamed Mariner veteran, would also like to see free agent starter Ervin Santana suit up in a Mariners uniform:

“He’s great,” Cano said. “The guy’s always pitching; he never gets hurt.”

Cano summed up his wish list, saying, “If it was up to me, we’d have Santana, (Nelson) Cruz and Ubaldo (Jimenez), too.”

  1. mzim2756 - Mar 2, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    Mr Cano, if you want them take a pay cut

    • mmeyer3387 - Mar 2, 2014 at 6:30 PM

      The Mariners gave Cano a very generous contract that many believe was for too much. However, the contract is his business and the Mariners. Cano had to realize that his new team lacked talent and after probably would not have a lot of money left to sign other players beside Cano. The down side is that his new batting line up is weak and lacking in many areas. Additionally, the Mariners batting line up does not give him any protection, which means he will be pitched around by other teams. Cano needs to suck it up and move forward. That’s the price he will pay for having such a big contract.
      and playing for a below average team.

      • sportsfan18 - Mar 2, 2014 at 10:12 PM

        All good points sir.

        But he will STILL complain about the lack of players around him… if/when they struggle, especially if it’s for multiple seasons…

        I have zero to base this on of course, so I expect to get raked over the coals on here, but if Cano earns HALF of what they gave him, it will surprise me… And I mean him remaining there and playing through ALL ten seasons…

        I have no idea what Seattle’s ownership or front office was thinking with this. They were NOT just one good player from being pushed over the top.

        Seattle will not be good for several years yet, if not longer.

        Let’s say they get good 3 yrs from now, Cano will be 34 then going on 35.

        By the time the team, MIGHT get good, he’ll be slowing down.

        Their actions are a mystery to me…

  2. zackd2 - Mar 2, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    What’s the going rate for a DH with OPS under .800?

  3. deep64blue - Mar 2, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    “Morales is still a free agent because he is tied to draft pick compensation”

    He’s a free agent because he stupidly turned down $14.1 million from the Mariners (who were stupid to offer him that much!)

    • 78mu - Mar 2, 2014 at 3:44 PM

      I would say right now that offer looks pretty good. A draft pick would be compensation for the risk of his accepting.

  4. historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Dang, how old is that interview?

    • mustang6984 - Mar 2, 2014 at 5:22 PM

      Not very…day before Cruz signed with Baltimore.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2014 at 5:27 PM

        I’m sorry, I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic If so, it would help me if you use the “/s” indicator. Thank you.

  5. uyf1950 - Mar 2, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    The Mariners can certainly afford to bring in both but the question is IF they re-sign Morales where is he going to play. They already have an abundance of DH/1st base types. As for Santana do they really want to sign a long term deal say of 4 years / $50MM to a fly ball pitcher who over the last 4 years has given up 118 HR’s. I guess that’s the question they need to ask themselves.

    • mustang6984 - Mar 2, 2014 at 5:24 PM

      For my money, since he has already proven he can do the job, he would be THE DH. All others should then have to prove they can play positions.
      Last year as DH Morales was the leader in offense…so he’s earned the job…it should be his to lose if they re-sign him.

    • tuberippin - Mar 2, 2014 at 5:29 PM

      That’s the pressing issue that’s not brought up here, I suppose. Hart can’t be counted on to play a lot of games in the outfield after coming off two knee surgeries last season. Smoak can’t play the outfield, just 1B or DH. Same goes for Morales due to his previous leg injuries. Morrison is the only one that could play the outfield, and he’s a marginal big-league hitter who is better suited for a backup spot anyway. Unless they’re going to get ballsy and play Corey Hart in the outfield from the get-go, they don’t have an open spot for Morales anymore.

      Perhaps playing a lot of games in SafeCo Field could mitigate some of Ervin’s HR problems, but it wasn’t too long ago he gave up 39 homers in a season for the Angels.

      • uyf1950 - Mar 3, 2014 at 7:11 AM

        I don’t think SafeCo is the “death valley” for HR’s that it used to be. Also keep in mind he’s still going to have to pitch in both the Angels and Rangers home parks as well as Yankees and Red Sox and Baltimore home parks. Only 81 of the Mariners games are at SafeCo the other 81 at mostly hitter friendly parks where HR’s could come back to haunt Santana if the Mariners were to sign him.

  6. karlkolchak - Mar 2, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    Wow–it hasn’t even been three months and Cano is already mouthing off about how his team needs to be better. This is going to end well.

    • Old Gator - Mar 2, 2014 at 1:12 PM

      Look at it this way: for what they’re paying him, they should expect him to perform some executive functions as well as play baseball.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Mar 2, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        Look at it this way, you should be asleep!

      • Old Gator - Mar 2, 2014 at 5:23 PM

        You’ve been quiet for about a week. Did someone park a truck on your manhole cover?

      • dirtyharry1971 - Mar 2, 2014 at 6:29 PM

        Light out old gasser at the nursing home!!

      • Old Gator - Mar 2, 2014 at 6:54 PM

        Gotta hand it to you (through the bars, I mean) – when one old, tired, beat up joke doesn’t work, just keep repeating it. I guess that abandoned landfill of an imagination of yours has gone over to the gulls.

  7. tc4306 - Mar 2, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Which happens first?

    The Mariners tire of Cano trying to be player, manager
    and GM all at the same time and try to trade him.

    Cano tires of the Mariners’ inability to put a winning team
    on the field and requests a trade.

    Seems like its only a matter of time until one or the other happens.

    • mmeyer3387 - Mar 2, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      These predictions may come true, but no one seemed to complain about Cano when he was with the Yankees.

    • happytwinsfan - Mar 2, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      no team will trade for him unless the mariners are willing to eat a good portion of the backend of his contract

      • uyf1950 - Mar 2, 2014 at 5:59 PM

        Contract wise after about 4 or 5 years of that 10 year deal Cano will be as untradeable as the other long term big dollar are or will be. Owing a 36 year old 2nd baseman over $100MM for five years when he is 36 for the 2019 season is a real problem for the Mariners. As a Yankees fan I am all to familiar with absurd contracts that pay players well past their prime.

      • dcarroll73 - Mar 3, 2014 at 12:53 PM

        But, uyf, aren’t you REALLY happy as a Yankee fan that they did not bite this time ? I know I am. I would have been fine with 7 years at the same AAV (maybe even a couple million more.) If Robbie had gone for 8, I might have even said, “sure that last year is probably a write-off, but OK.” Ten years? The Mariners are crazy.

  8. m3dman3 - Mar 2, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    Hahaha good luck with that. You are playing for the Mariners now Robbie.

    • gatorprof - Mar 2, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      Bingo. He wanted them to sign Cruz as well.

      Robbie needs to shut up and play baseball. My guess is that reality is sinking in that he has already played baseball in October for the last time.

      • mustang6984 - Mar 2, 2014 at 5:26 PM

        gator…I can see that your head contains a BB-sized brain.

      • Old Gator - Mar 2, 2014 at 7:09 PM

        Whereas I can see that there’s a mid-term warning notice from your fifth grade math teacher. Better get it out of there before mommy and daddy come home.

      • dcarroll73 - Mar 3, 2014 at 12:56 PM

        gator, I think that might just be his mental age (where did his comment even come from? it’s not as if he was responding to one of your very funny, but possibly snarky bon mots.)

  9. Jason Lukehart - Mar 2, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    If only Cano had had the option of signing with a team that regularly pays a fortune for free agents whenever they sense a need…

  10. kellytoole878 - Mar 2, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Start working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do…….

    B­­A­­­Y­­­­9­­­­­1.C­O­M

    • 18thstreet - Mar 2, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      Are you suggesting the Mariners aren’t maximizing their revenue streams? That is a valid, valid point. Perhaps they should be making better use of social media or wireless platforms.

      Thanks, Kelly Toole!

    • dcarroll73 - Mar 3, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      At last a constructive comment addressing how Robbie can help his new team buy the help they need (if this doesn’t work, maybe they can hold a bake sale.)

  11. bostonboresme - Mar 2, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Cano’s rich but he’s not stupid. The M’s definitely need a righty power bat.

    • cackalackyank - Mar 2, 2014 at 8:50 PM

      No, he’s rich AND stupid. He could have been on a team in a rebuilt lineup, he just would have had 2 less years at a HIGHER AAV. But, he was DISRESPECTED by that idea. Oh well, sucks to be him, huh?

  12. pisano - Mar 2, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    If you want those two, take some of that 240 mil and invest it back into the team, show the Seattle fans how team oriented you are.

    • zuprczar - Mar 2, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      If he was going to do that he’d have stayed in New York.

      • cackalackyank - Mar 2, 2014 at 8:51 PM

        BINGO

  13. zuprczar - Mar 2, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    It sounds like Cano is already missing his days as a Yankee. I guess he thought every team did it’s best to put together a contender and that profit was a secondary consideration. I know the Yankees have the deepest pockets but that is little excuse for most teams because most of them are very profitable in relation to their payrolls.

  14. zdravit - Mar 2, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    Kinda broke after that embarrassing contract.

    • mustang6984 - Mar 2, 2014 at 5:29 PM

      zdravit…Who’s broke? Seattle? LOL!!! Not hardly. As of this year they are one of the wealthiest teams in all of MLB. (They now own ROOT Sports…which is a cash cow!) They also raised their payroll this year, and have not yet spent it all. I’d rather see them be prudent about who they sign next than just blow it like a 10 year old in a candy store with $5.00 to spend.

      • Old Gator - Mar 2, 2014 at 7:11 PM

        I see that you’re keeping company with ten year olds, since you’re so closely familiar with their spending habits. That kinda figures. Have you taken your little buddy over to Doc Maynard’s to visit the Crapper?

  15. braddavery - Mar 2, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    The Mariners should trade Cano to the Yankees.

    • tuberippin - Mar 2, 2014 at 5:32 PM

      I heard Michael Pineda is available. Maybe they can snag another catching prospect that they can then watch fail, just like Jeff Clement and Jesus Montero and Kenji Johjima (and maybe Mike Zunino??).

  16. connertiland - Mar 2, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    You think the mariners lineup is crap, but cano is out of line when he thinks Morales would be a great addition? Okay. The way I see, Santana would be nice. But we only need him for two weeks while Kuma and walker are hurt. That’s only three or four starts between the two of them. So is paying Santana as much as he wants worth our while? I’ve always wanted morales back, ESPECIALLY over Cruz when the m’s were linked to Nelson. If you are paying attention to the mariners spring you would know that cano has embraced the leader role, and the young players around him have responded well to his presence. No one has a problem except Yankee fans who should be focused more on their team, considering their team looks pretty damn interesting this year.

    • yournuts - Mar 2, 2014 at 2:31 PM

      NOTE TO connertiland, Spring training is not the regular season. I love Robbie Cano but I will tell you that Robbie is no leader, never was and never will be. He is an excellent hitter and a great secondbaseman. He will hit 290 to 310 for you and drive in 90 to 110 runs. He will not run out ground balls and pop outs. If you don’t have protection for him his numbers will be lower. COREY HART is NOT protection. Lets see what Cano can bring to Seattle after this season, how many more games you will win?

      Good luck.

      • connertiland - Mar 2, 2014 at 3:04 PM

        Being a leader has nothing to do with the schedule, season, or the earths location in orbit. Being its spring training and he has already stepped up is big. “He hasn’t been a leader” does not equal “he cannot be a leader”. Jeter was the leader in NY. He knew his place in NY

      • historiophiliac - Mar 2, 2014 at 3:19 PM

        I don’t have nuts, but I’m going to chime in anyway and second to a limited extent what conner said. Being a leader is overrated. A sled dog team goes nowhere efficiently if they’re all alpha dogs. It benefits a team to have those further down the order who can deliver strongly too. You don’t really need a bunch of team leaders. The fact that he might not be a strong leader has nothing to do with whether or not his performance on the field can help the team win.

      • zackd2 - Mar 2, 2014 at 6:43 PM

        Lol.

        The leader comment is such bs, such a made up phenomenon.

        Oh and lineup protection – like all the protection he had last year right? Basically identical to his average batting line over the last five years

    • jeffbbf - Mar 2, 2014 at 2:38 PM

      Telling the media that your team isn’t good enough to compete without signing all of the remaining free agents isn’t exactly what I’d call being a leader. More like a whiner.

      • connertiland - Mar 2, 2014 at 3:00 PM

        Cano said they need another righty. He never said the team wasn’t good enough, he just said they need another righty-something the team SHOULD already know. It comes down to matchups. Having morales is huge. He offers power, protection, serves as both a righty and a lefty. Cano was propping morales up more than criticizing the current team. You’d have to been a negative nancy to interpret his comments as “this team sucks send me back to NY”

      • jeffbbf - Mar 4, 2014 at 10:23 AM

        “I’m not going to lie. We need an extra bat, especially a right-handed bat,” Cano told CBSSports.com.

        If it was up to me, we’d have Santana, (Nelson) Cruz and Ubaldo (Jimenez), too.”

        Where, in any of these quotes, does he say that the team is good enough to compete?

        need
        nēd/Submit
        verb
        1.
        require (something) because it is essential or very important.

    • mustang6984 - Mar 2, 2014 at 5:35 PM

      conner…I think you’re spot on personally. Santana is hot and cold…on a yearly basis…and since he was fairly warm last year…odds are this might well be a deep freeze year.
      Morales is a proven entity…especially in Safeco…and he would probably like to come back here.
      Cruz was a possibility, we know he could hit in Safeco, but…there was this drug issue..do we need to take a chance on him pulling a Alex Rodriguez on us? Let him play somewhere else first to re-build his credibility.

      The current offensive line-up isn’t all that bad, and could in fact be pretty decent. Adding Morales will solidify 7 batting slots. Cano has been putting in extra time with Smoak working on his right-handed hitting, and from results seen so far, appears to have been making the desired impact.

      Yankee fans are just P/O’ed because they lost one to the M’s….one that was a pretty good cog in their wheel…which is losing spokes fast and furious!

  17. beachnbaseball - Mar 2, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    Stay miserable, Robbie. Look on the bright side. You’ll be on vacation in October.

    Regards…..B. Cashman

    • mustang6984 - Mar 2, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      So will New York….and for years to come no doubt. In fact…M’s may well see the October games before New York…I’d bet on it.

      • zackd2 - Mar 2, 2014 at 6:39 PM

        Lol Yankees missed the playoffs twice in 20 years. But sure the Mariners will in playoffs before Yankees. Are you Dave Cameron?

      • cackalackyank - Mar 2, 2014 at 8:56 PM

        Jack Z, is that you?

  18. dirtyharry1971 - Mar 2, 2014 at 4:56 PM

    Ervin should be a bluejay already, come on AA open up the purse there and give this guy a nice deal already!!

    • Old Gator - Mar 2, 2014 at 7:13 PM

      You should have taken your medication already. I mean, you spent the whole week making the adjustment to it.

  19. mustang6984 - Mar 2, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    Possibility exists that the Mariners could make more than a few people eat some crow this year. While Cano is talking, BECAUSE he is being ASKED, he is also taking time after the day’s work-outs to help other hitters. And in the case of Smoak, it is producing results not seen before…and results needed to be seen!

    A good acquisition in more ways than one.

  20. rcali - Mar 2, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    That’s so cute of him! Wait till they’re out of the race at the all-star break. Doubt he’ll be hustling down that line.

  21. mweekes22 - Mar 2, 2014 at 6:46 PM

    Why give Cano 240 mil and then fill other spots with injury riddled players? If Jack Z is really serious about this team winning and he’s going to spend a lot of money, mine as well go all out and pay these other guys.

    • Old Gator - Mar 2, 2014 at 7:27 PM

      I think JackZ is going to watch how things pan out in spring training before he pulls any major triggers. I also suspect that before Cano signed, he received some sort of indication from the Crew of the Minnow that they wouldn’t be making one big splash with him and then pulling up their ladders. He sounds like he expects someone to make good on some representations they must have made to him.

      And I also don’t doubt that he wants to meet the Borg in the LCS and cram their disinterest in retaining him down their throats. Badly. I think I’ll just lay aside some cow chip cookies and an iced latte and enjoy watching what could be a very intriguing subplot of the coming season take shape.

  22. mmason0071 - Mar 2, 2014 at 8:08 PM

    Welcome to the celler dwellers, Mr Cano. You’re not really in the Major Leagues anymore so just calm down and cash your checks.

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