Seattle Mariners rumors about acquiring a new first baseman have quieted. Those Mariners rumors revolved around the team needing someone to replace Adam Lind or Dae-Ho Lee, but that need may have subsided. Playing against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, May 25, the Seattle Mariners were led to a 13-3 victory by Lind.
Adam Lind went 4-for-4 on the day, driving in six runs and scoring three of his own. Lind hit home runs in the second and third innings, adding a double for good measure later on in the contest. The impressive night at the plate bumped Lind up to four doubles, six home runs, and 18 RBIs on the season. Lind has only 120 at-bats in his first season with the Mariners, as he has been splitting time at first base with Dae-Ho Lee.
Lee is also in his first season with the Mariners, making 68 plate appearances over 28 games to this point. Lee has six home runs, 12 RBIs, and 16 total hits to his credit. His current batting average is .250, but Lee also has an OPS of .825 so far. While his home runs are split evenly between right-handed and left-handed pitchers, he has had more success at the plate against righties.
Dae-Ho Lee has a .292 batting average and .987 OPS against right-handed pitchers. Adam Lind has a .313 batting average and .853 OPS against left-handed pitchers. As a platoon, the pair would be best used in those scenarios. If manager Scott Servais continued to use both hitters against those pitchers exclusively, the Seattle Mariners rumors about acquiring a new first baseman could go away.
One of the names that have come up in Mariners trade rumors is Joey Votto. Votto is the first baseman for the Cincinnati Reds and finished third in the 2015 National League MVP vote. He is having a down year in the 2016 MLB season, though, with a .205 batting average through his first 47 games. Those numbers would make it difficult not only for the Reds to deal Votto, but nearly impossible to get a great package of players in return.
Joey Votto is signed through the 2024 MLB season, with a salary that will reach $25 million in 2018 and stay there until the 2023 MLB season. It is one of the most expensive contracts in baseball for a hitter, which is why a rebuilding franchise like the Reds would entertain trade possibilities. If Votto continues to struggle at the plate, though, it would likely require that the team pay a large portion of what is left on his deal. That nearly makes a trade cost-prohibitive.
Regarding the Seattle Mariners rumors, there are other needs on the roster that might also have to be addressed before considering a trade for a new first baseman. The franchise doesn’t have a lot of depth in the infield, which became a problem when Ketel Marte went on the disabled list and Chris Taylor failed to impress during his recent call-up. This could make it very interesting to see what the front office does as the first MLB trade deadline draws closer (it hits on July 31).
There is a lot of the 2016 MLB season left to play, so it could be crucial for some contending teams to make moves before the long summer months. At 28-18, the Mariners are certainly considered contenders, so activity in the trade market might be coming. If Adam Lind and Dae-Ho Lee continue to perform well at the plate, then the Seattle Mariners may no longer need to worry about improving the offense. Any slumps might give reason for the trade rumors to be addressed again.
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