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Sports with Art Thiel
Fri December 13, 2013
Mariners Say 'Hello, Cano,' But Thiel Says Deal With Slugger 'Stupid'
The Mariners have officially welcomed All-Star slugger and second baseman Robinson Cano to Seattle with one of the biggest contracts in Major League Baseball history and some other new players to help support him.
KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel called the deal "stupid" but said it had to be done.
'Smart Didn't Work, Try Stupid'
Art said the Cano deal is "such a remarkable departure from Mariners' past habits that it has stunned not only Seattle but the entire baseball world."
For years, the Mariners tried to grow farm-raised talent that's more affordable and more knowable, from the standpoint from watching a player progress through the Minor League system. But "being smart didn't get them anywhere so they decided to be stupid," Art said.
'Had No Choice'
"This contract is really stupid," Art said. "It's [a reported] 10 years for $240 million but the Mariners had no choice. Because so many mistakes have been made in player personnel and with managers and with the president and with the CEO that they had no option but to go all out on one guy and try to build something around him."
Cano is a five-time All-Star, including the American League starter at second base each of the last four seasons. He has won five Silver Slugger Awards (2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) and two Gold Gloves (2010, 2012). In nine seasons with the New York Yankees (2005-2013), Cano has combined to bat .309 with 375 doubles, 28 triples, 204 home runs and 822 RBIs in 1,374 games.
Art's main concern is that Cano's best years are behind him, at age 31. He only expects Cano to be effective at the plate and in the field for another 5 or 6 years. Cano believes he can make a difference.
“I am really happy to be here in Seattle and look forward to helping the Mariners organization win a championship and bring a World Series trophy to the Pacific Northwest,” Cano said in a statement released by the Mariners Thursday.
More New Additions
Art said the Mariners need to supplement Cano with hitters around him in the lineup that can make the team competitive. To that end, the Mariners added two players this week, Corey Hart and Logan Morrison. They are "first base-DH-outfield types" but are both coming off knee injuries.
Art is not impressed with those hires.
"I see these guys as being another Mike Morse or Jason Bay, two players from a year ago who were brought in past their prime and hoped they'd be healthy enough and didn't work out," he said.
More Moves to Make?
Art said he's a little leery about the entire Mariners roster but adds that they are not done building.
"They still need a No. 3 veteran pitcher and they still have moves to make," he said. "So maybe something else will happen besides Cano and these two moves to make Mariner fans actually look forward to spring."
Sports with Art Thiel