The Seattle Mariners have the same goal this offseason that they’ve had for a long while: Build a good-enough team to snap the playoff drought that has consumed their Octobers since 2001.
In an effort to accomplish that, general manager Jerry Dipoto might be looking to bring in a player who has ample playoff experience: Free-agent first baseman Carlos Santana:
Santana wouldn’t seem like an obvious fit on paper. The Mariners have plenty of funds allocated to Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano, and Kyle Seager — and would seem more likely to use their available resources to shore up their rotation and/or outfield. Yet Santana would fill a hole at first base.
Santana doesn’t have the sexiest profile. His durability and on-base skills are his selling points, as he’s tallied more than 600 plate appearances in all seven of his full seasons, all the while reaching base at least 35 percent of the time. Santana’s power production has varied — he’s homered 19, 34, and 23 times the past three seasons — but he’s a quality player all the same.
Perhaps the hope for the Mariners is that a flooded first-base market and the aforementioned lack of chrome will make Santana a potential bargain. Shy of that, the Mariners might opt for another member of the market’s surplus of cold-corner types.