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Blog Entry

Could Hunter Pence be a fit with Mariners?

Posted on: July 24, 2011 12:57 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2011 1:11 pm
 
Pence

By Evan Brunell

Over the last two games, I had the pleasure -- if one could call it that -- of watching the Mariners battle the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

To no one's surprise, Seattle lost the first two games, running its losing streak to 14. It's gotten so desperate out in Seattle that manager Eric Wedge lopped off his enormous handlebar mustache to try to shake things up.

Unfortunately, the loss of Wedge's mustache won't mitigate the brutal offense of the team. In fact, there's only one player in Seattle's regular starting lineup that would have a prayer of cracking Boston's lineup. That's second baseman Dustin Ackley, who bats third for Seattle. The problem is, while he would certainly supplant shortstop Marco Scutaro in Boston's lineup, he can't play short and Dustin Pedroia isn't stepping aside for Ackley.

Seattle was a historically inept offensive club last season, and while its improved this year, it's not by much. Before this losing streak, Seattle was right in the thick of the division race, but it's hard to stay in the hunt when you just can't push runs across. Improving the team's offense is of the highest priority int he offseason, but why wait there?

Hunter Pence of the Astros would be a great fit for Seattle, and the Mariners can bring Pence in immediately to at least try to end the season on a high note.

There are three ways Pence fits with the Mariners. First is his offense, obviously. Second is his position of right field, and lastly is his age and contract.

If the Mariners acquired Pence, he would certainly start batting third or fourth in the order on the strength of his .309/.354/.474 mark. While it's not a career-best line, it is his best offensive performance relative to the league, as his .322/.360/.539 mark back in 2007 was in a healthier offensive climate. The ways that Pence would upgrade Seattle are clear -- it's the same way Pence would upgrade every other team. He's a strong hitter with the ability to steal 20 bases in a season and is also a strong fielder.

Speaking of fielding, Pence plays right field, a position occupied by Ichiro Suzuki. That's not a problem, though, because Pence could easily shift to left field and then become Ichiro's eventual replacement, should Pence remain with the Mariners at the time. Mike Carp is currently the (new) starting left fielder, so isn't exactly blocking anyone as a Quad-A player trying to make good in the bigs.

The negative -- if you can call it that -- on Pence is his contract. He's making $6.9 million on the season and has two more years of arbitration to go. Given Pence will likely crack $10 million in arbitration earnings next season, that means his price is rising, and rising fast. On the other hand, Pence offers two additional years of team control beyond 2011, which would be a must in Seattle's case.

It's not about 2011 anymore; it's about 2012 and beyond for Seattle. The pitching is rounding into shape, and now it's time for the offense to take hold. Prince Fielder has been linked to Seattle in the past, but free agency is never a sure bet. Besides, even with Pence on the team, it wouldn't preclude a run at Fielder, which would suddenly give Seattle something resembling a solid offense. People forget, but Seattle is a big-market team that hasn't played big market for a few years. Back in 2008, its $118 million payroll ranked ninth in all of baseball. In 2011, the Mariners are 16th with an $84 million payroll. Seattle has money to play with, so Pence's salary isn't as important as the fact Seattle would control him through 2013 at the earliest.

Of course, what the M's would have to give up in a trade has to be considered. It's safe to say that Michael Pineda won't go anywhere, but the M's have a deep enough farm system that they could get a deal done if they so desired.

Here's where we mention that there hasn't been anything linking Pence to the Mariners whatsoever. Either that's because there's nothing there or both teams are doing a stupendous job keeping quiet about it. But it's a move Seattle needs to consider to upgrade its offense. Dabbling in free agency won't be enough. Seattle has to strike soon to bolster the offense and give the team a chance to win.

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Comments
hotmeuly
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 21, 2011 4:55 pm
This comment has been removed.

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peulouy
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 19, 2011 11:49 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 11:59 pm
 

Could Hunter Pence be a fit with Mariners?

Overjoyed we stubled upon this glorious blog, will most likely apt to cut back on they to glance every day.



Since: Apr 16, 2007
Posted on: July 25, 2011 12:56 pm
 

Could Hunter Pence be a fit with Mariners?

I think that Pence would look better in a Phillies uniform than a Mariner's! Plus if he wants a better chance of a world series ring, the Phillies have the best shot at that!



Since: Oct 26, 2009
Posted on: July 25, 2011 8:37 am
 

Could Hunter Pence be a fit with Mariners?

And what exactly does Seattle have to compensate for Pence?  Anyone who follows basesball (outside of CBS) knows that the Astros have put a huge pricetag on Pence, decreasing the likelihood that he will be traded.  And I find it hard to believe that Pence wants to be traded to another team that will be mathematically eliminated in August (or early September).  As usual, CBS sports is trying to make the news instead of report it.



Since: Aug 24, 2010
Posted on: July 25, 2011 8:26 am
 

Could Hunter Pence be a fit with Mariners?

This is not about trading players or prospects, but about a straight acquisition, making all the sense in the world right now.  The problem goes directly to the front office, which has paid the price for fiscal conservatism.  Pence will go elsewhere, possibly to the Giants.      



Since: Nov 7, 2010
Posted on: July 25, 2011 5:11 am
 

Could Hunter Pence be a fit with Mariners?

Seattle could send Ichiro(now remain a good value..not for long time) to Yankees for Montero
Yankees could accept for 2 main reason...1/lead off they don't have 2/japanese player as Ichiro will make  a lot of noise in NY(and lot of money in merchandasing




Since: Apr 3, 2010
Posted on: July 25, 2011 12:01 am
 

Could Hunter Pence be a fit with Mariners?

Any GM of a team in last place who trades prospects for a veteran should be fired on the spot.

What a ridiculous premise for an article.

Who wrote this? A Mariners fan?




Since: Jul 24, 2011
Posted on: July 24, 2011 9:58 pm
 

Could Hunter Pence be a fit with Mariners?

this article is a hoot



Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: July 24, 2011 7:10 pm
 

Could Hunter Pence be a fit with Mariners?

???

Here's where we mention that there hasn't been anything linking Pence to the Mariners whatsoever. Either that's because there's nothing there or both teams are doing a stupendous job keeping quiet about it.
What is the point of the article? 

But it's a move Seattle needs to consider to upgrade its offense. Dabbling in free agency won't be enough. Seattle has to strike soon to bolster the offense and give the team a chance to win.

???


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