What does it mean for the Texas Rangers and the AL West in general now that Robinson Cano is in the division? What does it mean for the Mariners? If history tells us anything at all, then it means absolutely nothing. As all of you know by now, the Mariners signed Robinson Cano to a ten-year, $240 million contract. He will be a Mariner for the forseeable future.
The Mariners are doing the classic AL West overreaction to try to become relevant. (See Angels with Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers with A-Rod). Cano, while a talented player, is not going to make up the 20 game deficit that Seattle had in the division last season (they finished 71-91). Robinson Cano, if he hits the same as he did in NY, will give you about 22 home-runs a season, 91 RBI and 88 runs. Seattle’s second baseman last season gave them 12 home runs, 45 RBI and 38 runs. So he is definitely an improvement. But you also have to think, what will Robinson Cano look like at home now in a ballpark that is known as a pitcher’s park and not a hitters park. I expect that Cano’s numbers will dip a good bit from his NY days, more like a 15-20 home-run, 75 RBI 70 run type of run, making him good but not great. I also expect them to be strapped for cash at every other position for the next ten seasons now, which will be good for the Texas Rangers.
The Mariners went out and got a premier second baseman when what they needed to do was build a whole team. Seattle was dead last in batting average last season in the American League with an average of .237. They were third worst is strikeouts, fourth worst it runs, second worst in stolen bases. They were a bad offensive team, and one guy is not going to fix that. Look at what happened when A-Rod became a Texas Ranger for a very similar deal. A-Rod had a great few seasons for the Rangers, but they got no closer to the post season then they were before A-Rod and I believe that the same thing will happen to the Mariners. They will win a few more games with Robinson Cano at second, but not enough. His average WAR over nine seasons in 5.02, hardly enough to make up the 25 games behind the OaklandAthletics the Mariners finished last season. In plain simple english, the Seattle Mariners got A-Rodded.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about this phenomenon, I am glad the Los Angeles Angels and Seattle Mariners are handicapping themselves for the forseeable future, and I hope that somehow the A’s follow suit. The whole Prince Fielder thing will probably not end well either for the Texas Rangers, but he is much younger than either Robinson Cano or Albert Pujlos. I believe that the Mariners will regret Cano way more than the Texas Rangers will. I sure hope I am right.