Mariners Insider Blog

No Ross, but a return for Raul? It's very possible

The Seattle Mariners are far from done in trying to fill out their roster for the upcoming season. They are still looking for an offense  at the corner position.

At this point, they are no longer trying to go after Nick Swisher or Michael Bourn. Swisher has never really been interested in Seattle, while Bourn's projected price tag is going to be too high for what the minimal production he  would bring to the power-starved Mariners.

They were actively pursuing free agent outfielder Cody Ross.  But that appears to be done ...

The attraction of Ross was the lower price tag and less year commitment than Swisher or Bourn.  Ross hit .267 with 22 homers and 81 RBI with a  .326 OBP and a .481 slugging percentage in 130 games.

There was also this development.

While the Yankees scour the free-agent and trade markets for a right-handed hitting outfielder, Raul Ibanez could be moving closer to leaving The Bronx.

According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Mariners have “serious interest’’ in signing the 40-year-old free agent designated hitter and outfielder.

The Rangers and Phillies also are thinking about adding Ibanez’s productive bat and professional attitude to their clubhouses.This is very close to being done. If the two sides  agree, it would be a one-year deal. But let's be clear ... the Mariners would NOT be bringing in Ibanez as an every day player. At age 40, he would be a left-handed bat off the bench, a sometime DH and a very emergency starter in left field. Ibanez was supposed to have that role last season. But injuries to Brett Gardner forced him to play more than expected. He hit .240 with 19 homers and 62 RBI last season.

It's also important to the Mariners to have Ibanez around their score of young players. It could be helpful in teaching them how to approach the game. Then again, Ibanez had the same attitude when he was here last time and Jose Lopez and Yuni Betancourt didn't learn a thing.

Still, the players the Mariners have now would be much more receptive to Ibanez's advice and approach. Ibanez and his family are also very comfortable living in this area.

I have no problem with the move as a bench guy and pinch hitter. He's a class act.

With Ross out of play, the Mariners will still try and add offense, though the market is dwindling.

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