Is Raul Ibanez the answer? General Manager Jack Zduriencik thinks so. Ibanez will get his third go with the Mariners in 2013 and ComingUpSmall is pretty sure it’s not a home run. The man will turn 41 as a Mariner next year and at .240 last year he was not a sure thing in the batting order. But he’s got some power and could launch a few over Safeco’s new more hitter-friendly confines.
Zduriencik has been doing some interesting things this offseason, including trading away one of the Mariners’ most consistent pitchers of 2012 — Jason Vargas — for some oomph in the lineup by way of Kendrys Morales. Of course, Morales is a first baseman just like perpetual future-superstar Justin Smoak. That could set up some intrigue in spring training this year.
With these moves in place, C.U.S. predicts the Mariners will not finish last in the AL West. Thank you, Houston Astros.