The Seattle Mariners had another disappointing season in 2013 after coming with high expectations for players like Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak and now that the team has a new manager in place with Lloyd McClendon, general manager Jack Zduriencik will be aggressive in the free agent market and it appears that Carlos Beltran and Nelson Cruz are the top free agent targets.
Power hitters have always been an issue in Seattle and after missing out on Josh Hamilton, the team will likely go after Carlos Beltran and Nelson Cruz as well as a possible run at Jacoby Ellsbury as well. The team has plenty of questions moving forward, including what Jesus Montero will do for the franchise, as he hit near .200 through May and also was injured and suspended for 50 games and Cruz was also one of the players suspended for his role in Biogenesis, but that has not stopped the team from looking at him.
According to the Daily News, the team has interest in Cruz, who could bring some massive power to Safeco. Last season he had 27 home runs and hit .266 all with his 50 game suspension and that power could get him a chase from Seattle. Last year they ended up losing 91 games and finishing with a worse record than the previous year and now the team will look into possible upgrades, as they have money to spend. The team got no power from the outfield last season and with the Rangers looking to bring back Cruz, it could be a nice battle for his services and he could end up with a $75 million deal over four or five years.
Jerry Crasnick is reporting that the team is not very high on Ellsbury since he will command a ton of money after hitting near .300 with over 50 stolen bases, which is why the team is looking at Beltran and Cruz. The two players got the $14.1 million qualifying offers from their teams, but they are looking to sign bigger free agent deals and after playing two solid seasons for the Cards, Beltran could be on his way out.
Beltran had another very solid season and the team could let him walk after two good years after he hit .296 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs and played well in the playoffs. The Cardinals have their own questions and the Mariners will try their best to make a deal for at least one of those players after missing out on big free agents the past few seasons.